This project looks at the role of material translation, intuition and empathy in provoking innovation and new ‘thinking tools’ in music composition. The research aims to shift the view of a structure of creative exchange apportioned or pre-determined via a role towards an understanding of collaboration as the current that carries the participants into an intertwining world of practice in which materials themselves become the tools of perception.

Research collaborations

A number of strands are ongoing and include work on ‘Distributed creativity’ carried out in collaboration with Professor Eric Clarke and Dr Mark Doffman (Oxford) and a consultancy on a project looking at ‘knots’ with cultural anthropologist Professor Tim Ingold (Aberdeen). 
Collaborations with international partners include: Ensemble musikFabrik (Cologne), Opera Cologne, Hellerau European Centre for the Arts (Dresden), Cikada Ensemble (Oslo), ZKM (Karlsruhe) as well as the Arditti String Quartet (UK) with funding support from ZKM, Stiftung NRW, Norwegian Ministry of the Arts and the Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne.

Current Compositional projects

Tree of Codes (2012-14)

Opera for 2 singers, 16 instruments, 90’ Libretto by L. Lim after Jonathan Safran Foer.
Commissioned by Oper Koeln, Ensemble musikFabrik & Hellerau in association with Akademie der Kuenste der Welt Koeln. Production directed by Massimo Furlan with his company Prod.23 (Switzerland); Premiere 21 Feb 2015, Cologne season followed by performances at Hellerau, Dresden

Knots cycle (2013-15)

The Weaver's Knot (2013-14), string quartet, 6' Commissioned for the Arditti String Quartet on the occasion on their 40th Anniversary. Premiere 10 May, Wittenertage für neue Kammermusik

Winding Bodies: 3 Knots (2013-14), 16' for al fl, bass cl, piano, perc, hardanger, vln, vla, vc, dbass. Commissioned by Cikada Ensemble with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of the Arts. Premiere September 2014, Oslo

Lemniscus Infinitorum (2014-15), 15' for recorder and string quarte for Jeremias Schwarzer and Minguet Quartet. Premiere 2015


Liza Lim | TONGUE OF THE INVISIBLE | test phase | Ensemble Musikfabrik