The Table of Knowledge: for solo double bass

Liza Lim (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Commissioned by Acht Brücken | Musik für Köln for Florentin Ginot
Premiere 2 May 2018, Florentin Ginot, Acht Brücken, Philharmonie Köln
Duration: 18 minutes

1. Datura (prayers to Shiva)
2. Belladona
3. Henbane
4. Cannabis
5. Flying
Dedicated to Florentin Ginot with thanks for the inspirational exploration of double bass sounds

The ‘table of knowledge’ refers to a section of the Medieval-inspired garden of the Cistercian Abbey of Royaumont in Asnières-sur-Oise, France that I visited in 2010. Arrayed there were a number of psychotropic and poisonous plants including some of the typical ingredients of a hallucinogenic mixture known as witches’ flying ointment: datura, belladonna, henbane and cannabis. These plants are understood in various traditions in Europe and Asia as ‘pharmakon’ – both poison and remedy, where their potentially lethal toxic properties are also employed for ritual and medicinal purposes. This work was made possible by a close collaborative process with Florentin Ginot which included both technical experimentations and speculative discussions on the double bass as extended body and uncanny being.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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