Quite Regularly Gay

SSAA, piano, optional soprano solo

A self-defined "genius," American born author Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) wrote in an abstract literary style not well received by the general public. Many literary critics have called her a "literary cubist" after the works of Braque and Picasso, artists whose paintings she notably collected. This setting for women's choir explores Stein's approach to writing as sound ordering. "A sound, a whole sound is not separation, a whole sound is in an order." ABA in overall structure, the "A" theme is treated in a pointillistic, impressionist manner at its return.


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Commissioned By: 
Portland Lesbian Chorus
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Premiere Ensemble: 
Portland Lesbian Choir
Premiere Conductor: 
Kirsten Hart

Vox Femina Los Angeles (Dr. Iris Levine, director) November, 2011: "No Ordinary Women— music of Joan Szymko and Gwyneth Walker"


"I LOVE this piece!!" Dr. Iris Levine, director Vox Femina, Los Angeles and National Repertoire and Standards Chair: women chorus.

Text Author or Source: 
Gertrude Stein, excerpts from excerpts from the essay, "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene"

They were regularly gay. They were gay every day.
They ended every day in the same way, at the same time, and they had been every day regularly gay.

To be regularly gay was to do every day the gay thing that they did every day.
To be regularly gay was to end every day at the same time after they had been regularly gay.

They were regular in being gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay,
they learned many little things that are things in being gay, they were gay every day,
they were regular, they were gay, they were gay the same length of time every day,
they were gay, they were quite regularly gay.

She came to using many ways in being gay, she came to use every way in being gay.
She went on living where many were cultivating something and she was gay, she had used every way to be gay.