One of the best things about Erik Satie is that after a certain point in his life he started to pepper his piano miniature scores with all sorts of bizarre performance instructions meant to destabilize even the most seasoned performers.
Stuff like “With conviction and a rigorous sadness,” “With a healthy superiority,” “Don’t eat too much,” “Hypocritically,” “Shake like a leaf,” “Do not cough,” “Go away,” or “Like a nightingale with a toothache.”
For years I had heard about these directions, but without any kind of authoritative list of them I decided to download all the Erik Satie scores at IMSLP and screenshot my favorites. There got to be so many that I had to present them in this sort-of-powerpoint format. This collection isn’t anywhere near exhaustive, but it’s a nice introduction. (The translations are for the most part my own, and I welcome any corrections.)
Oh, and if you’d like to read a nice introduction to Satie’s life, the proto-postmodern invention of “furniture music,” that time he founded his own religion, and the piece he wrote with 840 repeats in it, click here.
SHIT I LOVE ERIK SATIE