Step into the Light - an IYL 2015 Anthem

We are delighted to announce the release by the École Polytechnique in France of a remarkable musical tribute to the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015).

Step into the Light is an original composition urging the citizens of the world to step up and help to spread the message about the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. The song combines a number of different styles from around the world to create a unique and original anthem for the year.

Sing it yourselves!

The song has a chorus based on a simple melody and the composers are asking interested groups around the world to get involved. One way to participate is to record yourself singing this chorus in your own language and with your choice of traditional instruments.  We will collate all contributions into a special recording for the end of the International Year and this will be your chance to have your contribution preserved for history!    

You can also feel free to record a video performing the song in any language, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and share it with us using the following ways: on Twitter using #IYL2015 or #StepIntoTheLight hashtags or send a link to the video by email to the IYL 2015 Secretariat at All videos will be disseminated through IYL 2015 social media channels.

The song is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) and please contact Gérard Mourou for any queries. 

Technical Details

Composer: Jérôme Musiani

Lyrics: Jérôme Musiani, Vince McClenny and Gérard Mourou

Performed by: Vince McClenny

You can download the score here.

Lyrics: English, French, Spanish. Help us translate the lyrics to as many languages as possible. Send your translations to

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


Gérard Mourou
IZEST Consortium and École Polytechnique

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015