The world premiere of Liza Lim’s work Sex Magic, took place at 11 am AEST, Saturday 19 December, by livestream from The Kitchen at Queenslab, Queens, New York. It was commissioned and performed by the extraordinary flautist Claire Chase as part of a remarkable, 24-year project called Density 2036. Begun in 2013. Chase’s aim is no less than to create an entirely new repertoire for solo flute, with a new work commissioned each year until the 100th Anniversary of Edgard Varèse’s ground-breaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5.
Claire Chase rehearsing Sex Magic. Photograph © Nicholas Houfek
Lim’s concert-length work features the lowest of the flutes – the contrabass, a gigantic instrument with over nine feet of tubing. Its lowest note is two octaves below the standard flute. Electronicist Levy Lorenzo assists Chase throughout the work to extend the sound of the contrabass through a variety of electronic modifications. He also operates the installation of kinetic percussion. Lighting and production design are beautifully crafted by Nicholas Houfek.
According to Lim’s extensive program notes: “This is a work about an alternative cultural logic of women’s...