10:00AM- I’m going to make some coffee and have some brunch.
10:03AM- I realized I can’t really be listening to the piece, or even hearing it, if the coffee grinder is running. Headphones it is.
10:05AM- I am out of milk. Perhaps this is an excuse to walk to Publix for a little social experiment? Later. For now, I drink my coffee milk-less.
10:09AM- Even through the headphones, the coffee maker adds quite an interesting counter-melody to the piece. Also, something that’s caught my attention but for some reason evaded my desire to write it down was the clock specifically. The piece is being played around quarter note=42, so the not quite 2/3 relationship to the clock (at quarter note=60) is…interesting to say the least.
10:24AM- I was humming along to the bass and took a notable wrong step. This may be what Whittington was talking about, the sheer magnitude of the piece requiring concentration to get it right.
10:38AM- Allowing myself to walk around the apartment while the computer is playing the piece lets me hear the piece in several different spaces at various distances. The effect is probably not the boredom Satie intended, but is surely interesting. Am I cheating? Most likely.* Perhaps later I’ll force myself to use headphones for several hours at once.
10:45AM- I’m not sure what it is about the chordal sections between the bass theme that are so completely incapable of grabbing my attention anymore. Perhaps the change of texture is more dramatic when voices are removed than when voices are added. Either this is significant, or it’s just dumb luck that every time I zone back in, it’s during the bass theme.
11:07AM- I just took a shower. Lots of interesting things happened in the different sonic environment. First, I had to take my computer in without my nicer speakers, resulting in a timbral shift. The piece also alerted me to the fact that my shower head now produces a loud, high pitched hiss on a high F#/G. Speaking of that range, I heard, very distinctly, at the beginning of the bass theme, that note creating a close to perfect fifth with the C natural being played. I don’t know if it was the shower head or some overtone I was hearing, but I didn’t perceive it the same way once the water was turned off. Now I subconsciously hear it at the beginning of the bass theme. Is the theme now starting in C major? I also decided it was best to leave the cat outside the room. He was not happy, and I could hear him through the door. He does not sing in key.
*Note: My concern that I’m “cheating” is only half-hearted. This is an experiment in how Vexations is heard over the course of a typical day, not in the context of the concert hall. I’ll probably make a post tomorrow containing my initial thoughts on what this all means.