Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Liza Lim

Liza Lim

Thinking through sensations via analogy

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music

The speaker is Prof Liza Lim (University of Huddersfield)


This seminar comprises a discussion of compositional approaches that stem from a process of magnification of the sensory interface between body and world.  I will explore how processes of thinking based on analogy and metaphor need not be locked into referential or symbolic equivalence where one thing or idea acts as a placeholder for something else, but might open up into a more fluid ontological space. ‘Invisibility’ (2009), for solo ‘cello, reflects on the Australian Aboriginal aesthetic category of shimmer exploring how aspects of a secret/sacred knowledge system might be experienced within the destabilised surfaces on a retuned ‘cello played with a prepared bow. ‘Winding Bodies, 3 Knots’ (2014) for hardanger fiddle & ensemble looks at ideas and stories around the ancient technology of knots as a way of orchestrating time and memory; The composition of ‘The Green Lion eats the Sun’ (2015) for double-bell euphonium, arose from unexpected synchronicities between external and internal factors including writer’s block, boredom and fatigue in an airport lounge, and a paradox about how our brains work described by Brian Massumi.

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