Vex 1995


Performance with Kim Dawn and Lukas Pearse at the Khyber Center for the Arts, Halifax. Saturday April 15, 1995 from 10am-midnight (840 minutes).

The performance is based on Erik Satie’s Vexations of 1893.

Satie’s instructions for the piece are: “to be repeated 840 times, you must prepare yourself beforehand in the utmost silence, by some serious immobilities.”

The performance consisted of emptying tea bags (Kim Dawn), reel to reel tape splicing (Christof Migone) and filling and lining up bottles (Lukas Pearse).

The reel to reel tape splicing was done 840 times with 840 razor blades for 840 minutes (14 hours).

There were two reel to reel players and two identical recordings of me counting to 840 along with a closed groove version of Satie’s Vexations which repeated the last note of the composition.

The recording had been done live on my program “Danger in Paradise” at CKUT-FM in Montréal in 1993.

On one player, the recording was being taken out 840 sections (once a minute), on the other the recording was being spliced in the 840 sections from the other.

First presented as an installation (840 razor blades, audio), see vex 2006, during Trou, a solo survey exhibit at Galerie de l’UQAM. 0ctober 20 to November 25, 2006.

       vex 1995 (27:04)

In 2022 I revisited the piece and it became Seti Sati (Ma mère, musicienne, est morte), a CD published in 2023 by Merles.

Note: The audio from this performance does not appear on the Vex CD. The two are related in name only (by way of Satie).

Photos: Micah Donovan.