This piece is, for me, about gratitude. Although it's not easy for me to say for what, specifically, I feel grateful, or why I needed to create an expression of it. Beyond the obvious—an opportunity to write for a group I know and whose membership I admire—my impressions as relayed toward this piece were more general. In short, I feel that I have much to be thankful for, and I am ever surprised as the positive elements in my life continue to accumulate in ways I can't always understand. As I see it, gratitude doesn't have to be sentimental or saccharine, or even an outward expression. And much music has been borne of angst, pain and fear. But, as we find our place in the world, one can't help but admire a beautiful random framework—events, people, places —that never fails to aid us in our journey but can never be controlled nor predicted. When I was writing the piece I confided to friends and fellow composers that it might be derisively called "pretty", and that I was worried about it. But ultimately for me, this music wasn't about those worries. As I wrote, it was a feeling I couldn't seem to shake, and that gave me something to say.
Lumens was commissioned by Ensemble X and premiered on February 11, 2006.
— Sean Shepherd
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