Upended by the split from his one-and- only girlfriend, the distraught Satie wrote a piece for piano in 1893 with the instruction that it was to be repeated 840 times, extremely slowly. Unsurprisingly, it was never performed in his lifetime: it was only years later, in 1963, that Satie-fan John Cage organised its premiere – with a relay of pianists – in New York. It took over 18 hours – as will this Cheltenham performance, with our own relay of professionals, amateurs, students and intrigued enthusiasts.
Find the running order on the side of this page!
Playing the Unplayable…
In the spirit of BBC Music Get Playing, we are inviting any pianists of moderate ability upwards to be part of this unusual event marking Satie’s 150th birthday year. Read a historical take on the piece by Cheltenham Music Festival Director Meurig Bowen on the BBC website by clicking the link below.
St Paul’s Church GL50 4EZ
Zubin Kanga’s Dark Twin M12 Dave Maric’s Vigil M14 Radiophonic Ritual M15 Will Gregory’s Moog Ensemble M17 Moments of Weightlessness M19 Clare Hammond’s cinematic piano M20 Vexations M40 Christina McMaster’s Multimedia Satie M42
Keyboard Inventions – with its nod towards J.S. Bach’s works of the same name – celebrates Satie’s legacy as the trailblazer, the architect of change in the way the piano has been played and written for since his own lifetime. Whether it’s the minimalist piano, the ‘prepared’ piano, the piano’s role in multimedia explorations or the wider bounds of ‘conceptual art’, Satie was there at the beginning.
This Cheltenham focus not only showcases the widest possible range of Satie’s own output; his multimedia influence is brought right up to date with avatars, synths, animation, wearable tech, new scores for old films and an inside-out pendulum piano.
*Fees & Booking Info
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- Online sales £2.50
- Telephone sales £2.50
- In person card sales £1.50
There is no fee for in person sales by cash
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