Erik Satie's "Vexations"
The Playhouse, Derry
5-7 Artillery Street
BT48 6RG Derry
1 composition, 14 pianists, 24 hours, 840 repetitions!
Vexations is one of the longest (and strangest) pieces of piano music ever written. A performance can last for over 24 hours and yet the piece consists of only three lines of music, which are repeated 840 times and played at a very slow speed.
Rescued from oblivion in 1949 by Henri Sauget, a friend of Satie's, the piece came into the hands of John Cage, who initially thought it was unperformable. However, Cage went on to organise the first full performance in New York in 1963.
For this Derry performance, we will perform Vexations with a team of 14 pianists playing in shifts over the course of 24 hours.
This promises to be a stimulating performance of one of the most curious, paradoxical and hypnotic pieces of piano music ever written!