Here at Weeping Tudor Productions*, we are having a fundraiser for OCD UK. For the last few months, my brother’s own Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has got the better on him and has had a profound effect on the family. Knowing I had to do something, the best I could think of was to raise awareness and start a fundraiser for an incredibly helpful organisation.
[Related: TheSprout’s Mental Health page has info, advice and organisations that you could help you]
What better piece to sum up obsession than Erik Satie‘s Vexations – and in his 150th birthday year. Discovered in an archive decades after his death, Satie suggested that this work be repeated 840 times (the belated premier was thanks to John Cage and an army of pianists). This one page of music has an entrancing effect, or even sheer agitation as the names alludes to (vexations means to cause annoyance!).
Welshman, John Cale on I’ve Got A Secret, talking about and playing the Vexations. Cale was one of the first pianists to ever play the piece, after its premier in New York.
A full-day performance split over two months
The plan is to have as many musicians and venues as possible for the piece. As one concert, it can last anywhere between 10 hours and a full day! We want it to be as accessible as possible and to break it up over two months (September to November), or maybe longer. We want a variety of instruments, at various times of day and various days of the week. All of our Vexations concerts around Cardiff shall be free and donations are encouraged either in person or online.
If you’re a musician or a singer interested in helping out, please contact us (any work is unpaid but you know it is going to a good cause). Venues willing to give up an hour or two (or more) of free time are also welcome. Open houses are also encouraged, especially if you have a type of piano (not keen on keyboards). Expect to see a Crowdfunding page soon.
We are also encouraging those who are new or not necessarily musicians to learn the piece (it’s only one sheet of music and we’d love to help new people learn it!).
This is all very exciting and is no doubt an incredibly daunting endeavour.
We hope to be vexing Cardiff very soon!
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you can bring!
*Sub-Editor’s note: Weeping Tudor is a young Cardiff reviewer who has recently turned producer!
Cover image credit: torange/biz cc
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