Objects Food Rooms: Three meditations from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons for mezzo-soprano, alto flute and piano. 13′

  1. chicken
  2. a blue coat
  3. the light in the moon

Stein’s remarkable ‘Tender Buttons’ takes as its subject household items, commemorating everyday domestic life.  But Stein’s language gives the reader a view through a fractured lens: the text loops and repeats, sometimes with incomplete syntax.  Her stream of consciousness meditates on an ever-shifting subject, obliquely suggesting that some meaning lies beyond if we could stay on one topic long enough.

Janet Smarr Pape commissioned and premiered the first version of this work, for mezzo-soprano and clarinet, in Paris, 2014.  This re-write for the same voice, alto flute and piano dates from 2021. See a score excerpt here.  Buy the score and parts here.