Vexations Marathon- Saturday 1 May Part 1

On Saturday 1 May as part of our Experiment! Festival at Kings Place, London Sinfonietta are performing Eric Satie’s extraordinary piano Vexations. This is a short piece of piano music which the composer suggests should be played 840 times.

The day has been split into 6 shifts of 3 hours and during each shift, the performers  are keeping a diary of their thoughts. We’re going to be live blogging the diary throughout the day.

Group 1  6:00am-9:00am

Andrew Burke, Jon Bunker,  Alex Metcalfe

840 repetitions in 18 hours

46 per hour= 138 per 3 hours

7:02 We are going slightly too fast, not that it matters a lot mind you- although we could end up too far ahead.

I’m going to get the projector turned off. Its too noisy, although the air con has come on- which is a hell of a racket as well.

Its strange- I went through a whole range of feelings and thoughts in that one. Mainly…BLIMEY!! I’ve got to concentrate. Why is playing in time so hard?! Why am I such a poor pianist?

7.25 It’s bloomin freezing in here…

8.00 ….brass monkeys! This is much harder than I thought. Perhaps because it’s so early in the morning. I definitely had waves of feelings/emotions- at times I felt my fingers were like huge and awkward but later on I found it easier. I thought it would go much quicker.

8:31 I enjoyed that round- it felt easier to stay in time as if the tempo had sunk into me. Still had ‘arrghh’ moments when I thought I would lose it.

That quaver rest at the end of each line…..I became obsessed about observing it.

Anyway- actually wish I could do more of it.

8.50 Doors to the room locked themselves which was interesting…. J and A may have been stuck for the whole 13 hours

9.00 Much easier that time- maybe I’m more awake or just getting into it. Feel like I don’t want to stop.

9.05 ditto that about the second stint being easier. I didn’t get at all bored of the theme the whole time. Counting was the hardest job. Felt a bit like sitting for a portrait.

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