First Breath

for viola, cello, and electronics
approx. 3min​

Written in association with the National Portrait Gallery in London, this piece sets a live viola and cello performance against a pre-recorded electronic track containing drone sounds combined with recorded and manipulated sounds from around the city.

The piece is inspired by Sean Smith's photograph Sophie's First Breath which was one of the winning photographs from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017.

The image depicts a newborn child at the moment she is brought into our world and takes her first breath. In order to reflect the notions of possibility presented by the photo, First Breath takes on the form of a modular improvisation, resulting in a new and unique unfolding of the work upon each performance.

© 2020 by Thomas Foster.