Monday, August 03, 2015

UTSA music, art students collaborate on 18-hour multimedia piece April 21

Eric Satie

Composer and pianist Eric Satie

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(April 19, 2010)--This Wednesday, April 21, UTSA music and art students will collaborate on an 18-hour performance of a composition by Eric Satie. Piano and photography students will present Eric Satie's piano work "Vexations" (1893) in a multimedia format. The performance will be outside the Arts Building Gallery near the Recital Hall entrance beginning at approximately 6 a.m. and finishing at approximately midnight.

Yes, you read that correctly -- an 18-hour performance! All are welcome to stop by to listen and watch for any given time period.

In the original score of "Vexations," Satie included the following comments to performers, "To play this motif 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities."

Several elements of "Vexations" are indeed vexing to the performers and audience: the ambiguous comments by the composer to play the motif 840 times (it is not directive but only suggestive), the monotony of repetition, the work's consistent use of unresolved dissonance, and the use of unnecessary and complex enharmonic spellings in notation that make the work harder to read.

The piano students have volunteered to perform in 30-minute increments in a relay race fashion. As one time slot completes, another student will take over for the next slot. The photographers will use the music and general concept of vexation as inspiration for stills that will be projected during the performance.

According to Wikipedia, Eric Satie (1866-1925) was a French composer and pianist. He was a colorful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music and the Theater of the Absurd. He referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds"), preferring this designation to that of "musician" after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications from the Dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late 19th century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and Francois de Paule in some of his published writings.

Join us and experience for yourself the mystery and monotony of "Vexations."

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For more information, contact Courtney Crappell at 210-458-5331.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
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