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Erik Satie’s “Vexations” in Rådmandsgade 34

15 sep 2018

In September, the demolition of the unique environment around the studio will begin. The front house and the characteristic garages in Rådmandsgade 34 will disappear and the backyard’s more than hundred years of history will end. During the demolition Satie’s piano piece will be performed. The construction of Satie’s Vexations in Astrid Noack’s Atelier is thought of as a meditative event. We wish the work performed by a number of artists and musicians in a 24 hour event that emphasizes the meditative and serious nature of the place and the time especially in these environments where such big changes manifest themselves. At the same time it may be the first performance in Denmark of Satie’s composition Vexation. 

Vexations is only one page long and consists of a short theme in the bass whose four presentations are heard alternatingly unaccompanied and played with cords above. It has been interpreted so that the theme will be played 840 times. The pace is called “Très lent” – very slowly. We propose that every musician plays an hour, where the theme is repeated 35 times. The first performance took place in New York in 1963 under the direction of American composer John Cage with the help of 11 other pianists from the American experimental music environment. The performance lasted for 18 hours. In a recording with the Dutch composer and pianist Jeroen van Veen, it is played at a pace where an 840 replay will last about 24 hours.

Astrid Noacks Atelier

Rådmandsgade 34
2200 København N