March 18th, 2021 – 20:00 CET | Concert VIII

Liza LIM (Perth, Australia, 1966)
Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music and Professor of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Ash, music for the Eremozoic (2020)

Presentation by Liza Lim and Ángel Soria (SIGMA Project soloist)

Concert: Ash, music for the Eremozoic (2020)

Conversation between composers Liza Lim & Alberto Bernal. Music and Ecology

Musical Tip: The saxophone in the work ASH. Andrés Gomis (SIGMA Project soloist)

Ash, music for the Eremozoic (2020) for saxophone quartet. Dedicated to Andrés Gomis, Josetxo Silguero, Ángel Soria, Alberto Chaves

Work commissioned by SIGMA Project with funding from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
World premiere 18/I/2021 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid). Cycle Series 20/21 of the Centro Nacional de Música-CNDM

The human hammer having fallen, the sixth mass extinction has begun. This spasm
of permanent loss is expected, if it is not abated, to reach the end-of-Mesozoic level
by the end of the century. We will then enter what poets and scientists alike may
choose to call the Eremozoic Era – The Age of Loneliness. 

E.O.Wilson, The Creation: an appeal to save life on Earth, 2006

The Australian bushfires in the summer of 2019-2020 killed around a billion animals (not
counting birds and insects) and burnt more than twelve million hectares of land (1). How do
we even comprehend this scale of loss? Faced with devastation, witnessing becomes the
ground zero of ethical action in the Anthropocene, a damaged place from which to build
a response.

I wanted to make a music of lamentation that is about witness; that proceeds by following
the natural ‘grain’ or idiosyncracies of the instruments to create something textilic rather
than architectural in design. I take the performer’s vantage point. Moving fingers along the
keys of the instruments in rather non-standard ways gives rise to knots and inflections of
sound. The music is created by feeling one’s way along the fissures and resonances –
pathfinding a route along resistances and flows of sound, and lines of force in time.

Ash – Music for the Eremozoic is in three parts:

  1. Sacrament
  2. Residua
  3. Night sky with wildflowers

The first part is made up of curling strands like smoke threaded into interlaced patterns
ranging from delicate curlicues to thunderous clouds. The second evokes charred remains,
roughly drawn marks and grains of fossilised time. The third part offers an image of
resilience – wildflowers, tough and delicate cloaked in night colours.


+ info: Liza Lim

Next session: Webinar