In A Libretto for the Desert, Sona Van's subject is the Armenian genocide, also known as the Great Catastrophe. Van's parents and grandparents were driven into exile due to this horrific event. Her poems reflect a personal connection to this history as well as the universality of loss, persecution, and intolerance.
“Beata Pozniak’s accented, dramatic narration conjures a faraway desert land. Sona Van’s abstract meditation on the Armenian genocide of 1915-1917 is dedicated to the victims of all wars and atrocities. Plumbing the depths of pain, Pozniak’s narration is intense, breathy, and emotional, and is augmented by background sounds of desert winds and distant, echoing Middle Eastern music. Pozniak’s artful pauses, varied tempo, and voice full of emotion convey the weight of the horrific events of the genocide and their effects on individuals. The work employs the Armenian genocide as its focus but also touches upon other wars and suffering, including the more recent events in Iraq.” (AudioFile)