Creative writing magazine Lucent Dreaming celebrated its first birthday at Rabble Studio on Saturday (May 4) with an eclectic mix of audio, poetry and pass the parcel. One year on from its launch, the magazine continues to delight, introducing a new and exciting project at the celebration. 

There were no nerves to be seen at this event, only a warm and celebratory atmosphere with a group of good friends – in true birthday party fashion. The tables were lined with Lucent Dreaming merchandise and creative activities for guests to take part in. Editor-in-Chief and founder, Jannat Ahmed introduced the opening act.

Musician Oli Richards, known as Goodparley, performed his very first show at the celebration. In his words it was “the first thing I’ve ever done sincerely”. Specialising in ambient and unusual sounds, his distinctive and atmospheric piece set the tone for the rest of the celebration: reflecting Lucent Dreaming’s surreal and unique style and introducing the audience to new audio creativity.

This performance was followed by readings from poet, Taylor Edmonds. The first poem she read, In Bloom, had opened the launch event in 2018 and was featured in the magazine’s first edition. Taylor’s work followed a theme of change and transformation, read in a soothing, still voice. The poems felt braver each time, showing her growth over the past year.

Perhaps Lucent Dreaming is braver now too, as they move towards bigger things. Following the performances, Jannat announced that Lucent Dreaming would be moving into ‘audio land’, with their new collaborative project Lucent Dreaming x Goodparley. For the next six months, six pieces of writing previously published in Lucent Dreaming’s magazine will be transformed into ambient audio. Taylor Edmonds’ poetry was not only connected to Goodparley’s music by its dreamlike quality, but In Bloom would become the first in their innovative audio series. It seems fitting that this new journey takes off with a piece of the very first magazine. 

Lucent Dreaming has continued to evolve and grow. It began as an online creative writing magazine, but with support from Ymlaen!– a collaboration between Rabble Studio, Creative Cardiff and Cardiff University’s Enterprise and Start-up Team – Jannat gained a six month placement at coworking space Rabble Studio and developed her idea, which quickly became a print magazine.

A further step in its development came in February 2019. Editor Joachim Buur spoke of the beginning of this audio journey, with Somniloquy, Lucent Dreaming’s monthly podcast focused on creativity and all things absurd. The steps they’ve taken over the course of a year has shown their commitment to innovation, always moving, changing and trying new creative things.

Lucent Dreaming’s future looks to be an exciting one, as Jannat described her thoughts on the magazine one year on: “We’re so excited to have made it so far, and we’re in a place where we can carry on doing it. We have all these exciting new collaborations.”

One year on and a lot has changed for Lucent Dreaming. It’s completely fresh and entirely different, but has retained a distinct identity which stands out from the rest. By including new platforms, it amplifies the reach of surreal, strange and beautiful creative work. Lucent Dreaming remains an inspiring contribution to Cardiff’s creative scene – both by promoting creativity and committing to being innovative itself.

One year ago, at Lucent Dreaming’s launch, Jannat said that the magazine was created by taking “one bold step after another, turning up and doing it every day.” Their first birthday felt like another bold, but natural, step on this journey - a move to multiplatform. They show a future beyond their current achievements, and I wonder and look forward to, just how much bigger their ambitions will be by their second birthday.