Notes from The Private Life (2014-15)
Introduction

The American novelist, essayist, filmmaker and political activist Susan Sontag (1933-2004) knew how to market and brand herself. Already well known for her thought-provoking essays, Sontag managed to become a glamorous intellectual celebrity.

Her journals, on the other hand, give a closer look into her private mind. Here, Sontag reveals herself as a self-conscious, insecure and anxious woman who was, above all, very concerned about being taken seriously as a writer.

Notes from The Private Life is a collection of 16 settings of small fragments from Susan Sontag’s journals structured in three parts. Distinct formal aspects of the diary texts are incorporated in the composition: the overall fragmentary nature, the frequent use of aphorisms and the compulsive employment of lists.

The collection constructs an intimate portrait of the inner landscape of an iconic public figure; a piece about writing, loneliness, love and death. Notes from The Private Life was written for Sarah Ellena Hogrefe.


List of works



Instrumentation

    mezzo-soprano

    piano

Duration

    ca. 26’

Text fragments

    Susan Sontag


Score sample