Pianoless Vexations, an eight-hour performance of Erik Satie’s Vexations (1893) was performed at The Sculpture Center in New York City on Sunday, June 11, 2006, 11-7pm.
Vexations was composed by Erik Satie in 1893 and consists of a short motif repeated 840 times. Satie directs on the score: “In order to play this motif 840 times consecutively to oneself, it will be useful to prepare oneself beforehand, and in utter silence, by grave immobilities.” Vexations was first performed publicly by John Cage and several other pianists over the course of 19 hours in 1963. As the title conveys, artists performing in Pianoless Vexations used any instrument except the piano to perform Satie’s original composition. Instruments included laptops, drums, guitar, French horn, violin, trumpet, saxophone, viola, recorder, toy piano, harpsichord, mandolin, bass, film projectors, voice, dulcimer and more. Artists will performed in continuous twenty-minute segments throughout the day.
Pianoless Vexations was conceived for “Grey Flags” exhibition at The Sculpture Center by Kenneth Goldsmith; Musical Directors and Curators Frank J. Oteri, Alan Licht, and Anthony Huberman. Michael Dotolo was the sound engineer.