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.