Music for Body-Without-Organs

2011 listen

In her book Deleuze and Horror Film author Anna Powell analyses horror film from a Deleuzian perspective and conceptualizes his “body-without-organs” as it applies to certain films and characters from the genre. Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser are two of the films that feature this type of entity. Music for Body-Without-Organs is a sonic representation of this continuous process of movement and flux. It is what I imagine these characters would dance or listen to while going about their business. While writing the piece I envisioned a striking scene from Herk Harvey’s 1962 cult classic Carnival of Souls. It involves the main character Mary Henry, who is perhaps a zombie, possessed, or simply undead. While practicing hymns in church one night she falls into a trance. The hymns suddenly mutate into twisted melodies. Her pointed toes begin to work the organ’s pedals with fierce abandon. Her fingers rapidly caress the keys with more and more urgency while she sways and contorts her body to the music. As she moves deeper into a trance, ghouls begin dancing to her demonic music. Arriving in time to avert the song’s conclusion, the church’s minister appears and pulls her hands off of the keys.

Nicole Lizée


Nicole Lizee CA

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”, JUNO-nominated composer and video artist Nicole Lizée creates new work from an eclectic mix of influences including turntablism, glitch, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and 1960s psychedelia.

Her commission list of over 50 works includes the Kronos Quartet, BBC Proms, San Francisco Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, NYC’s Kaufman Center, So Percussion, and Eve Egoyan. Her music has been performed worldwide in venues including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall – and in festivals including the BBC Proms (UK), Roskilde (Denmark), Bang On a Can (USA), Classical:NEXT (Rotterdam), All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK), Barbican’s Sound Unbound (UK), Metropolis (Australia), Luminato (Canada), and Dark Music Days (Iceland).

Nicole was awarded the prestigious 2013 Canada Council for the Arts Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. She is a 2016 Lucas Artists Fellow (California) and 2010 Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow (New York City/Italy). In 2015 she was selected by composer Howard Shore to be his protégée as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. Additional awards and nominations include a Prix Opus, an Images Festival Award, a Dora Mavor Moore Award in Opera, the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers’ Top 10 List, and the Canada Council Robert Fleming Prize for achievements in composition.

For more information about Nicole Lizee, click here.

Nicole Lizee