Eliza: Lust (2009)

for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano

Text by Sean Stewart

Performed by Elizabeth Keusch, soprano

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Duration: 2 min.

Premiere: Performed by Wonjung Kim at her DMA Voice Recital at Stony Brook University on April 6th, 2011. (Piano: Karl Hinze)

“Eliza: Lust” (2009) is a setting for mezzo-soprano and piano of a text from the 2001 interactive online mystery “The Beast,” written by Sean Stewart. The prose poem is attributed to one of the mystery’s characters known as Eliza, a lonely personality with an ambiguous nature (it is unclear if she is a young girl or a grown woman, a human or an artificial intelligence). The excitement and bated breath of this sexual fantasy lent itself to a through-composed form that quickens and relaxes in turns. Also, the unusual nature of the character and the poetic imagery of the text led to experimentation with less-common tonalities and freer harmonic progressions.