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CELEBRATING THE ART OF CONTEPORARY MUSIC COMPOSITION

COMPOSER PROFILE

  • Liza Lim

    Liza Lim

    Composer Biography

    Liza Lim’s compositions are marked by visceral energy and vibrant colour and often explore ritual forms and performance aesthetics from Asian and Australian Aboriginal cultural sources
. Some recurring themes in her work include ‘hiddenness and revelation’, ‘violence and meditation’ and ecstatic transformation.

    Awards include the Paul Lowin Prize, DAAD Artist-in-residence Berlin 2007-08 and Australia Council and Ian Potter Foundation Senior Fellowships. She was appointed a member of the Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne in 2012 and curated the music programme for the opening ‘Cutting Edge’ festival. In 2008 she was appointed Professor of Composition and the Director of CeReNeM, Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield. Her works are published by Casa Ricordi (Milano, London & Berlin) and portrait CDs have been released by Hat Hut, WERGO, ABC-Classics and Dischi Ricordi.


  • Shortlisted 2015
    Category Large chamber
    Work Winding Bodies, 3 Knots

    About this work

    A knot is the magical image of time turned back on itself – think of a knot and you start thinking of the actions and process of tying it! The place where you were first finds itself next to where you will be next as you interlace a strand and pull it tight.
    A knot is a material technology for binding and unbinding through friction and tension and is also one of our oldest patterns for story-telling, memory-work, divination and magic. The properties that make a knot ‘knotty’, somehow also appeal to our story-telling instincts when we’re faced with paradoxes and problems intervening in a life of desires, curses, memory and loss. Winding Bodies, 3 Knots looks at the old Nordic tale of sailors ‘buying the wind’ tied in knots – untying the first knot would release a breeze, the second a strong wind and the third contained a hurricane which should never be untied…

    I would like to make a music that is similarly intertwining in nature, a music made up of a circulating meshwork of lines of activity in which one finds knots of stable coherence and knots that puzzle and confound; a music where knotting describes a poetics of bewilderment as much as of clarity, and where forms grow out of an attention to and fascination with the hurricane of waywardness that sits at the edge of where you think things are going, barely contained by a knot in a rope. Liza Lim

    For alto flute, bass clarinet, piano (with preparation), percussion, Norwegian hardingfele (hardanger fiddle), violin, viola, cello and double bass. Winding Bodies, 3 Knots was commissioned by the Cikada Ensemble with the generous assistance of the Norwegian Arts Council. It received its UK premiere by the Cikada Ensemble at St Paul’s Hall on 23rd November 2014 as part of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.