The music of Līva Blūma has been described as “conveying a vocal quality” (Lauma Malnace, Latvian Radio 3). Her pieces have been commissioned & performed by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Youth Choir ‘Kamēr…’, the versatile trio ‘Art – I – Shock’, ‘B- Sharp Orchestra’, Scordatura Women’s Music Collective and more. She is a recipient of the Pēteris Vasks Award (2018) for her piece ‘All Scabs Are There’ for baritone and piano.
Līva’s most important impulses for composition are extra-musical and come from poetry, visual arts, and sundry other sources, such as mental illnesses, botany, natural phenomena and even sporting events. This mélange of inspiration allows her to create soundworlds that are fantastical and eerie, yet vital and perpetually rhythmical.
With her early childhood training in classical singing, Līva has sung to a professional standard with the Latvian ensembles ‘Youth Choir Kamēr…’, ‘Putni’, and The Latvian Radio Choir. Her performance experience influences her compositional approach, as she strives to maintain a sense of melodic line even in her most structurally complex pieces.
As a composer, Līva firmly believes in communicating with audiences both within and outside the established concert hall setting. In her mind, a composer of today is no longer a lonely artisan but should play an active role in all aspects of music, be it creation, performance or education. She is actively interested in mental health advocacy, aiming to bring music to people for whom it is not accessible due to their mental health conditions. In 2019, Līva completed her training as a Mental Health First Aider and took part in Sansusī Wellbeing Residency Programme in rural Latvia where along with a choreographer and a puppet artist she led daily workshops for patients in a local psychiatric hospital. These interactions resulted in a public shadow theatre performance with patients as lead performers. During this residency, Līva also co-authored a dance performance focusing upon self-harm and distorted body image amongst women.
Līva strongly believes in the educational importance of music, she is active in sharing her knowledge on subjects of interest. In 2018, Līva was a guest speaker at the North-western Division of American Choral Directors Association Conference held in Portland, Oregon; she co-lectured there on Latvian folk culture and choral music. She has also presented self-designed masterclasses for people who are just starting to explore the realms of music, presenting on improvisation and extended techniques of the piano.
Līva holds a Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Music Academy, where she studied under Andris Vecumnieks and graduated in 2018.
Currently, Līva is pursuing her Master’s in Composition at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, studying under professor Michael Hersch.
When not making music, Līva focuses on reading and using a vintage film camera as a tool of capturing the world around her.