What a year 2006 was for Goddess. We released a 13-song album produced by our friend David Grubbs. We had all these cd’s (remember?) sitting around our house. Then David called and invited us to play a show conceived by poet Kenneth Goldsmith at The Sculpture Center in LIC, NY. Kenneth takes up some serious shelf space in our library. And I think Man From Nantucket is one of the greatest short odes written in English. He didn’t write that one but I wanted to throw it in.
Anyway, Alan Licht (Lovechild, thank you Ken Katkin) and other music-world kings were curating a piano-less performance of Eric Satie’s Vexations, a short piece written to be performed 840 times in a row on the piano. I’ll just quote from www.ubuweb.com:
Vexations was composed by Erik Satie in 1893 and consists of a short motif repeated 840 times. Satie directs on the score: “In order to play this motif 840 times consecutively to oneself, it will be useful to prepare oneself beforehand, and in utter silence, by grave immobilities.” Vexations was first performed publicly by John Cage and several other pianists over the course of 19 hours in 1963. As the title conveys, artists performing in Pianoless Vexations used any instrument except the piano to perform Satie’s original composition. Instruments included laptops, drums, guitar, French horn, violin, trumpet, saxophone, viola, recorder, toy piano, harpsichord, mandolin, bass, film projectors, voice, dulcimer and more. Artists will perform in continuous twenty-minute segments throughout the day.
What a day it was! The air was clammy and unrefreshing. The performers were kept on a strict schedule of 20 minute segments. Andy and I mistakenly thought it would be “fun” to bring Violet, our 2-year old. I was wearing, as the photo attests, a heavy cotton dress- basically a sweat bag for legs (I am saying this last part with a Polish accent). I guess life is never glamorous while you are living it. But Margaret Leng Tan, Hannah Marcus and Stephin Merritt rocked. Mr. Merritt, I might add, seemed quite okay with Violet’s friend Emmett (progeny of Mr. Grubbs himself, who was also on the bill) rushing the stage as only a 2-year old can do.