short sentences


Written in 1932, Short Sentences consists of over 45o names, each one followed by a short sentence. Some names refer to historical persons in Stein’s world, others are clearly invented. Should they be spoken in performance? In Francesco Gagliardi’s film version of the play, the names appear in the final credits. In our recording, we found many different ways to integrate the names with the sentences via a choir and twelve singers. The remarkable presence of the name “May,” a reference (as in other of her texts of this time) to Stein’s previous liaison with May Bookstaver, inspired our interpretation of the play as it addresses a writer’s engagement both with an audience and several different muses (authentic, seductive) whose trustworthiness is in question.

Click “listen” to hear the first track of Sam Shalabi’s setting for this play. Or you can listen to the whole piece (63 minutes) here.

listen read the play


Composer: Sam Shalabi
Scenario/Libretto: Adam Frank
Choir Director: Dina Cindric
Sound Engineer: Jace Lasek
Recorded and mixed at Breakglass Studio, Montréal
Audio mastered by Harris Newman/Grey Market Mastering

Sarah Albu
Mark Andrew Hamilton
Kate Bevan-Baker
Katherine Black
Nils Brown
Emma Elbourne
Isak Goldschneider
Elizabeth Lima
Marie-Clair Saindon
Jake Smith
and The Monday Night Choir

Patrick Conan, drums
Jonah Fortune, bass
Guido Del Fabbro, violin
Jean-Christophe Lizotte, cello
Sarah Page, harp
Giulia Pozzi, viola
Sam Shalabi, electronics

  • The recording was made possible by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (File 435-2013-1684).

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