Recitals: Shoot the Piano Players

Erik Satie was the court musician of Dadaism. He swooped around Paris in the belle époque of the 1900s with a lighted pipe in his pocket and could be seen most afternoons in the cafés with his pocket gently smoldering. He pronounced himself Pope of the "Metropolitan Church of Art of Jesus the Conductor," issued blizzards of encyclicals and excommunicated unfriendly music critics. He cheerfully orchestrated his music for airplane propellers, lottery wheels and typewriters—and occasion ally delivered it to his friends in the form of paper gliders. He also wrote a little work for piano called Vexations—an 80-second...

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