Kronos’ Fifty for the Future Composers

Nicole Lizée - Canada

Download Score of Another Living Soul   Download the PDF
Download Score of Darkness Is Not Well Lit   Download the PDF


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About Another Living Soul

Video 1: Members of the Kronos Quartet demonstrate and discuss key techniques for "Another Living Soul."

Video 2: Members of the Kronos Quartet demonstrate and discuss key techniques for "Darkness Is Not Well Lit."

Another Living Soul Videos

Program Notes

About Another Living Soul, Lizée writes:

Another Living Soul is stop motion animation for string quartet. Considered one of the most complex and idiosyncratic art forms, stop motion demands imagination, craft, isolation, an unwavering vision, fortitude, and copious amounts of time. The act of beginning the process invites both angst at the daunting task that has just begun and a kind of zen acceptance of the labyrinthine road ahead.

“The earliest stop motion—those beings and worlds created by Harryhausen, Starevich, Clokey, et al—still impresses and inspires. Oozing creativity, their work has a rough-hewn beauty and a timeless enchantment.

“Throughout its evolution, the end result has always been incrementally imbuing vitality and life to something devoid of any such spark on its own. The close quarters, intimacy, and camaraderie of the people who work in this art form are mirrored by the scrutiny and care they afford their tiny subjects and the attention to minutiae required to render a work that is lifelike. The impossible becomes possible—souls emerge from where once there were none.”

About Darkness Is Not Well Lit, Lizée writes:

Darkness Is Not Well Lit is a sonic imagining of film noir for string quartet as seen—and heard—from the vantage point of an electric fan.

“Orson Welles’ and John Huston’s film noir calls to mind specific settings, shot in black and white, and playing tricks of light only possible in that medium: the sweltering heat, smoke, fog, sculpted shadows, low-key lighting, a telephone and manual typewriter sitting on an imposing oak desk, a single swinging sputtering light bulb, venetian blinds, and whirring fans.

‘There is no doubt in my mind that the most beautiful music is sad, and the most beautiful photography is in a low-key, with rich blacks.’ – film noir cinematographer, John Alton.

‘Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.’ – Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep”

About Nicole Lizée

Called a “brilliant musical scientist” and lauded for “creating a stir with listeners for her breathless imagination and ability to capture Gen-X and beyond generation,” Montréal-based composer Nicole Lizée creates new music from an eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, glitch, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Lynch, 1960s psychedelia, and 1960s modernism. She is fascinated by the glitches made by outmoded and well-worn technology, and captures, notates, and integrates these glitches into live performance.

Lizée’s compositions range from works for orchestra and solo turntablist featuring fully notated DJ techniques, to other unorthodox instrument combinations that include the Atari 2600 video game console, omnichords, stylophones, Simon™, and karaoke tapes. In the broad scope of her evolving oeuvre she explores such themes as malfunction, reviving the obsolete, and the harnessing of imperfection and glitch to create a new kind of precision.

In 2001, Lizée received a Master of Music degree from McGill University. After a decade and a half of composition, her commission list of over 40 works is varied and distinguished and includes the Kronos Quartet, BBC Proms, the San Francisco Symphony, l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, New York City’s Kaufman Center, TorQ Percussion, Fondation Arte Musica/Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Calefax, ECM+, Continuum, and Soundstreams, among others. Her music has been performed worldwide in renowned venues including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royal Albert Hall (London), and Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), and in festivals including the BBC Proms (UK), Huddersfield (UK), Bang On a Can (USA), Classical:NEXT (Rotterdam), Roskilde (Denmark), Melos-Ethos (Slovakia), Suoni Per Il Popolo (Canada), X Avant (Canada), Luminato (Canada), Switchboard (San Francisco), Casalmaggiore (Italy), and Dark Music Days (Iceland).

Lizée was awarded the prestigious 2013 Canada Council for the Arts Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. A Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow (New York City/Italy), Lizée was selected in 2015 by acclaimed composer and conductor Howard Shore to be his protégée as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. This Will Not Be Televised, her seminal piece for chamber ensemble and turntables, was chosen for the 2008 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers’ Top 10 Works. Hitchcock Études, for piano and notated glitch, was chosen by the International Society for Contemporary Music and featured at the 2014 World Music Days in Poland. Additional awards and nominations include a Prix Opus (2013), Dora Mavor Moore Awards in Opera (2015), two Prix collégien de musique contemporaine (2012, 2013), and the 2002 Canada Council for the Arts Robert Fleming Prize for achievements in composition.

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