Lighting designer proves a musical ‘catholic’ who four years of Wagner’s Ring didn’t convert.

Defining what music means to me is almost impossible. The easiest answer would be to say that I neither can, nor indeed wish to, imagine my life in its absence. I would fail the Desert Island Disc test miserably, as I’d need a suitcase big enough to sink the average atoll to accompany me. It has simply always been one of the most important things in my world.

My earliest childhood experiences of music were nothing if not eclectic, ranging from the predictable ( Tubby the Tuba, Peter and the Wolf) through the mildly precocious (Mozart’s Jupiter, Beethoven’s Emperor) to the somewhat left-of-field (Spike Jones’ Carmen) all of which formed the first building blocks of my record collection. To this day, I find it impossible to hear Carmenwithout mentally superimposing Jones’ brilliantly corny lyrics, punctuated, naturally, by the odd car horn.

Meanwhile, growing up alongside a very much older pair of siblings, there were the constant strains of my sister’s guitar practice from one room and the raucous tones of my brother’s encyclopaedic collection of Be-bop records from another. The former gave rise to a certain tension in...