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A Moon That Lights Itself
Michael Begg and Clea Friend at RSA
National Galleries Scotland commission

In 2016, Michael was commissioned by National Galleries Scotland to produce a new piece of music to mark their major summer exhibition, Inspiring Impressionism.

Michael focused on the final years of Charles François Daubigny, whose work grew increasingly nocturnal in theme in the closing years of his life.

Michael also drew on other significant developments in mid to late 19th century French culture, including the invention of the phonautograph, the first recording of a human voice (singing au claire de lune) and the emergence of the nocturne as a musical form.

Accompanied by Clea Friend, Michael premiered the work, among Daubigny's paintings, in the Royal Scottish Academy on September 16th.

It was subsequently released as a recording, which can be found here: https://omnempathy.bandcamp.com/album/a-moon-that-lights-itself

In January 2020, the work was re-presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to mark the NOW exhibition, featuring the work of Katie Paterson, with whom Michael shares many thematic concerns and interests.

A phonautograph scratched into lamp black
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The "phonautograph", created by etching soot-covered paper by Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville.
This image is in the Public Domain.