liza lim


Imperium sine fine; an empire without an end.

Cities were burning under our touch, falling and crumbling to ruins for us to step on while we built this new empire. We were victorious, and we believed that this would be a never ending victory.

And if you look back to the year 1980, you too will understand why we thought we had the world in our hands. With the Dark Lord sitting on top of his throne, we were his hopeful Knights of Walpurgis. Our quest almost fulfilled, there was no reason to not believe in the joy that he would bring us when we were done conquering the Wizarding World. We were almost there.

Between raiding Muggle villages, performing Unforgivables and showing up to parties for political purposes, we were winning a war. There is no doubt that we would be laughing if someone told us that in a year’s time, this empire that we built would finally come to its end.

They said that this was going to be the empire without an end, but we forgot that nothing is forever. That everything good must come to an end one day. It was the beginning of a decade, but an end of an era. And this is the story of where we fell.

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In her work, rough, plain melodies meet up with displays of avant-garde virtuosity; voices sing and squawk, instruments emit pure tones and raw noise. Lim exemplifies a younger generation of composers who have revivified modernism by kicking away its technocratic façade and heightening its visceral power.
—  In this week’s issue, Alex Ross listens to two song cycles by Liza Lim: