This page hosts ‘Creative Responses’ to VEXATIONS made by creative people all over the world, inspired by Vexations…
“Felicitations!” by Yshani Perinpanayagam. My father once said to me, “There’s no need to do drugs. If you want, just deprive yourself of sleep and you’ll hear music in the raindrops.”
Reed Maxson and The Masked Man Band, Davis, California, USA ‘Vexations Variations’
Alyce Santoro, Providence, Rhode Island : One cycle of Erik Satie’s “Vexations” arranged for C flute and alto flute, digitally slowed 25%. Inspiration for the video comes from Satie’s 1912 “Memoirs of an Amnesiac”: “My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coconuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin). I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuchsia. I have a good appetite, but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.”
840 unique monoprints inspired by Vexations by Ton Verstraten, and Merel Schellekens Boxtel, The Netherlands.
“VEXATIONS Re-Imagined” by Richard Hughes, Bristol, UK. Vexations by Erik Satie, reimagined so that the piece is being played 840 times (almost) simultaneously.
VEXOPEDIE by Fionna Linnane, Limerick, Ireland : “I combined the rhythm and melodic shape of Satie’s Gymnopedie and with the pitches of Vexations”
“VEXED” by Emma McPartland, Alkmaar, The Netherlands : Arrangement of Vexations for Flute, Bassoon, French Horn, Harp and Cello.
FIFO dump (Matthew Olden) – VEXATIONS FIFO dump, straight to quicktime instruments, no visual, Mac Build 13F1112; Bristol UK
Giorgio Magnanensi : VEXATION for Erik Satie’s Birthday on 17th May 2020
Giorgio says “This version of Vexations is made reading a “translation’ of my piano rendition as a midi file then read again into a MaxMSP pitch tracker patch that uses an emulation of the 1972 Eminent 310 string synthesizer.” Recorded in Roberts Creek, British Columbia, Canada.
Steve Beresford, London UK: “Ovens Taxi”
Veda Hille, Vancouver, Canada – “Vexing Question”
Veda says – “I first played Vexation for 30 minutes (with a timer, no cheating). so intense. and this conversation started up, with a repeating question and improvised answers. after the thirty minutes were up I pressed record, and stuck to the repeated question and made new improvised answers. “
Haworth Hodgkinson – Convexations
Haworth says – “Convexations” is a set of procedures for deconstructing and reconstructing Satie’s “Vexations”. This is one possible realisation, using 28 synthesiser voices. I began with Satie’s original “Vexations”. Where Satie puts a sign and says it is “customary” to play the unharmonised bass line at this point, I chose to disregard that custom, so I am only using the two harmonised paragraphs. I counted 28 distinct pitches in the original, if I treat enharmonic equivalents as the same pitch. I rewrote the original as 28 parts for 28 instruments, where each instrument can only play one pitch. I added or subtracted beats from each of the 28 parts so that they are all different lengths and will slip out of phase when they repeat. I aligned them, however, so that they begin out of phase and come into sync at the very end. I then thinned out the texture, so that I begin with only three voices, playing their three notes with silent gaps, gradually adding more pitches until all 28 are present just before they come into sync for a recognisable iteration of “Vexations”.
Haworth Hodgkinson, May 2020, Central Buchan, Aberdeenshire
Kathy Hinde: Vexating Toy Piano, 2009. The adapted red toy piano is chirpily flying through all 840 repetitions showing little signs of tiring… a short extract.