Chip interpretations at Vexations (x2)

09 October 2012

Recording of the life chip interpretation of Vexation.

Chip interpretations will appear as part of the Vexations (x2) event at Cafe Kiasma on Friday, 12.10.2012. It is scheduled as one of several parts (16:30h) of the repetitive piece Vexations by Erik Satie. The composition itself consists of one theme and two alterations that are played as double counterpoints. The interesting part of it is that in a comment preceding the notation, Satie wrote

Pour se jouer 840 fois de suite ce motif, il sera bon de se préparer au préalable, et dans le plus grand silence, par des immobilités sérieuses)


In order to play the theme 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, and in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities.

The Whitecolors collective, who is producing this event, decided to take this literally and have the 840 repetitions played over the course of about 8 hours. However, they invited different artists to take turns; each being connected to the stream of notes fed to their syntesis systems by a technology called MIDI (A popular 80s technology).

Based on the oulipop engine, I decided to translate Satie’s comment (in various languages) into BetaBlocker programs, using it as the raw material for both the sound synthesis and the interpretation’s overall structure.