Lockdown Vexations

LOCKDOWN VEXATIONS launches online, on a new website THIS SUNDAY 17th MAY – for ERIK SATIE’s 154th BIRTHDAY… (link will be shared here soon)  Play one round of Vexations (about 2 mins), to contribute to a full, streamed performance which will play for 840 repetitions using software to generate a random playlist of recordings by different people !! Already some fantastic contributions have come in… but more would be great!!! Please send by Midnight on Saturday 16th May to be included in the launch. More info below, a link to download the score and a video of the piece being played… It somehow feels particularly appealing to play this piece together and apart, during this time.

VEXATIONS is a mysterious composition by Erik Satie, which takes on another dimension when the instructions at the top of the score are followed. Satie asks the performer to play the piece 840 times without a break, very slowly, which can take as long as 24 hours. Satie offers the following advice “In order to play the theme 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, and in the deepest silence, through serious immobility.”

TAKE PART Play one round of VEXATIONS and record yourself on video with audio (in ‘landscape’ orientation for best results). Download the score HERE, or email me for a copy. Please send your video by file transfer to kathy@kathyhinde.co.uk and let me know where in the world you recorded it!  I will credit performer names with each iteration. It’s widely thought to be composed for piano (although Satie doesn’t state this), so if you don’t have a piano, then another keyboard instrument can work. NB. the first version of the score available from this page had a ‘Natural Sign’ missing!!!! This is now correct – updated as of 26 April 2020… 

VEXED LOCKDOWN It would be great to also gather creative responses to Vexations as a parallel project. This is open to your interpretation… Get into the spirit of Vexations – Maybe prepare with a long silence? or by listening to Vexations 840 times? … then create your response using whatever media you choose. Please also send to me, to be compiled with other people’s responses. Feel free to be as ambiguous and multifaceted as Satie himself.

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