Artists in Research

Lisa E. Harris, soprano
Photo credit: Sonia Malfa

Lisa E. Harris, Li, is an independent and interdisciplinary artist, creative soprano, performer, composer, improvisor, writer, singer/songwriter researcher and educator from Houston Texas.

Li’s work focuses on the energetic relationships between body, land, spirit and place. Using voice, theremin, movement, meditation and new media to explore spatial awareness, relationality, panoptical surveillance and sonic profiling, she maintains a focused concentration on healing in performance and living.  She is the founder and creative director of Studio Enertia, an arts collective with Pittsburgh creator Alisha B. Wormsley. Studio Enertia is currently producing Harris’s 10 year durational work, “Cry of the Third Eye, a new opera film in Three Acts”  that archives the effects of gentrification on her Houston neighborhood. Li recently created and curated Houston’s inaugural Free Time Flow Festival at MacGregor Park,  celebrating the intersections of basketball, electro-acoustic music and improvisational performance. She has currently curated Pauline Oliveros Day at Discovery Green Houston. Recent engagements include ‘The Force of Things- an Opera for Objects’ by Ashley Fure, ‘The Nubian Word for Flowers- a phantom Opera’ by Pauline Oliveros and IONE, and ‘Earthseed’, a co-composition commission with Nicole M. Mitchell for Chicago’s Art Institute.  Spring 2019 included acclaimed solo performances at Moogfest 2019 and Marfa Myths 2019, and Li a guest artist while joining the Ensemble Evolution faculty at Banff Center for the Arts in the Summer of 2019. She is currently touring as a guest artist to Harvard University and Wellesley College, and throughout France with the Bridge Project.

ONSHORE TRILLING: WHAT TO DO WHEN THE EARTH SINGS THE BRUISE is the title of Harris’ current research initiative. This research project develops into a song cycle composition inspired by the life cycle of an oil and gas field. Investigating the relationships between voice, Earth, body, vibration, space and ritual, environmental and personal healing initiatives are attempted through experimental public performances using seismic graphs in Norway, Texas and beyond. 

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“What you have been doing and your plans for the Ma series [Arts] are important, and necessary, not only for culture, or for us as women artists (though these are important), but for everyone’s communities urban and rural, and for life itself which is dependent on these creative energies.”
Susan Alcorn – Pedal Steel Guitarist, Musician, Composer