First Light
for solo piano (1997)
duration: 6’
GRT • 036


recordings available
Satellite Mapping
Complete works for solo piano (1989–2014)
Amir Farid
Move Records, MD3402, 2016

First Light
Yvonne Lau, piano
Fellowship of Australian Composers

Diana Blom, piano

score available from
Promethean Editions

program note
Around 1997, I started thinking more deeply about the music of composers such as Chopin – effectually re–tracing aspects of my musical heritage. First Light was not a change of style for me but a slightly more conscious recognition of the music which is central in defining the way that I hear functional harmony. The piece also draws on more contemporary voicings influenced by American composer/pianists, Lyle Mays, Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock. For me, it is not so much a question of ‘style’ as a question of harmonic ‘function’ and this strikes me as being more elusive to place and time.

First Light is dedicated to my mother, Elizabeth Scarlett. The first performance was given by Thomas Jude Sammut at the Malta International Arts Festival, 8 July 1997.

available on resources page

“Greenbaum's solo piano piece, First Light, was one of the highlights of the opening Intercultural Concert.”
Murray Black, The Australian, May 2006

First Light’s four-note basic motive offers a sort of reflection of the previous piece, the motion being upward over a central-keyboard ostinato.   And again, the added-note chords, even the modulations, are reminiscent of a...Shearing-style improvisation that rises to a powerful C sharp Major conclusion – yet  the almost inevitable, unsettling distant high notes that conclude the work offer a coda of quiet negation, or at least a question-mark.”
Clive O’Connell, O’Connell the Music, August, 2016