Considering Satie’s Vexations: 12 hours of new music @ NK Berlin | Saturday, 14.06.2014

NK and Digital in Berlin proudly present this very special performance: Considering Satie’s Vexations – 12 hours of new music from June 14th at 11:00pm to June 15th at 11:00am, performed by Composer Peter Ablinger (AT) with TIM Song, Reinhold Friedl (DE), who plays an interpretation of the classic Satie piece, Manfred Werder (CH) + Koen Nutters (NL) & guests, who are actualizing a new score and featuring 2 works by Toshiya Tsunodain extended performance, Jost Muxfeldt (DE/US) presenting a laptop performance around sunrise and more!

Context: Vexations performed in Minneapolis – “Vexations” (1893) is a musical work by Erik Satie, who can be considered to have been the Frank Zappa of his time. The piece is presumably written for solo piano, that bears the inscription “In order to play the theme 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, and in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities.” Satie did not publish the work in his lifetime, and is not known ever to have performed or mentioned it.


The piece was first printed in 1949 by John Cage in Contrepoints N°6. The first of the ‘marathon’ performances of Vexations was produced by John Cage and Lewis Lloyd at the Pocket Theatre in Manhattan in 1963; it lasted over 18 hours and included relay piano performances by Cage, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, Phillip Corner and others.

Northern Spark Festival 2014 will stage this seminal piece at the Northrop Auditorium in which 12 young performers will successively play Satie’s piece in one-hour-long turns, resulting in an ongoing performance that lasts from 6pm on June 14th until 6am June 15th.

NK Responsive Performance – Rather than re-staging Satie’s seminal work or another historical durational piece, NK complements their MN-partner event by hosting contemporary works in the spirit of Vexations. Based on the endurance/performance concept, the invited composers & musicians will present new works that explore & challenge perception via (means not limited to) duration, dynamic extremes, psycho-acoustic techniques such as difference tones, spatial configuration, new technological applications, or dismantling the performer/audience hierarchy. These experimental musicians approach composition, improvisation and/or performance through computer music, electroacoustic, or as instrumentalists.

The performances span a 12 hour period synchronized to the Minneapolis event & also to a similar responsive performance in Bombay, India at the Clark House Initiative Bombay.

! The Berlin program will be broadcast live to St. Paul, Minnesota where the audience can watch & listen !


Peter Ablinger was born Austria in 1959. He completed his studies in composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Graz and Vienna. In Berlin since 1982, he has initiated and conducted numerous festivals and concerts, founded the Ensemble Zwischentöne, was a visiting professor at the University of Music, Graz, and has been guest conductor of ‘Klangforum Wien’, ‘United Berlin’ and the ‘Insel Musik Ensemble’.

He is one of the few artists today who uses noise without any kind of symbolism – not as a signifier for chaos, energy, entropy, disorder, or uproar; not for opposing something, or being disobedient or destructive; not for everything, for eternity, or for what-have-you. As in all these cases of music deliberately involving noise, noise is the case, but for Ablinger: this alone.


He has also come a long way in questioning the nature of sound, time, and space, and his findings have jeopardized and made dubious conventions usually thought irrefutable. These insights pertain to repetition and monotony, reduction and redundancy, density and entropy.

Reinhold Friedl, born 1964, studied piano with Renate Werner, Alan Marks and Alexander von Schlippenbach, mathematics and musicology in Stuttgart and Berlin. As a performer, interpreter and composer, he has received various fellowships as well as composition commissions. The founder and director of both ensembles Piano-Inside-Out and ZEITKRATZER has published articles and conducted a seminar on “Music and Mathematics” at the Berlin Free University.


Next to curating the Podewil center for contemporary arts Berlin, Friedl directed the International Computer Music Conference Berlin 2000. He was part of the Jury of the Ars Electronica and Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa.

He has worked with musicians/ composers such as Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Phill Niblock, Helmut Oehring, Nicolas Collins, Lou Reed, MERZBOW a.k.a., Masami Akita, Radu Malfatti, Bernhard Guenter, Mario Bertoncini (nuova consonanza), Keiji Haino, and has made countless radio and CD recordings. Lately he realized the “spazialisation piano-project” in Karlsruhe and San Francisco. The main focus of his work is the inside-piano. He played all respective literature using inside-piano techniques and released several articles in this field.


Manfred Werder is a Zürich-based composer and a long-standing member of the Wandelweiser Composers’ Collective.  His compositions have always been challenging and pushed at the limits of our understanding of what music is or might be.  His recent works are all short text scores with titles that are simply the year in which they were composed.  

Jost Muxfeldt is a German/American artist, composer, philosopher, and programmer, whose work often focuses on trans-media and phenomenology, exploring the rational and irrational channels between artistic and conceptual disciplines, and pursuing their self-transfiguring implications.

In 1991 he moved to Berlin, where he began working as an artist and composer, also collaborating with artists such as Arnold Dreyblatt, Martin Riches, Laura Kikauka, and Stephan Wunderlich. He also began working in architecture for Daniel Libeskind, Arata Isozaki, Axel Schultes, and many other prominent Berlin architects.


He has published and lectured in philosophy, in part on the work of Arakawa & Madeline Gins. His audiovisual work, Audio Kinematics, has been shown in the Tesla Media Art Center at both the Ultraschall and Transmediale Festivals, in the Centre D’Art Santa Mònica for the Sónar Festival in Barcelona, at the Via Festival in Maubeuge, and at the Exit Festival in Paris-Créteile. Continuing developments of initial ideas for Audio Kinematics have led him to further philosophical and artistic inquiries into the question of “What is space?”.

Performance times during the session:
23:00 Reinhold Friedl
24:00 Peter Ablinger
01:00 PT I: Manfred Werder, Koen Nutters & guests
06:00 Jost Muxfeldt
07:00 PT II: Manred Werder, Koen Nutters & guests
09:00 TBA

Warm brunch served at 10:00!

inm Series, Composing This Space: This event is kindly supported by inm and presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.

Considering Satie’s Vexations: 12 hours of new music w/ Friedl, Ablinger, Werder, Muxfeldt LIVE

Saturday, June 14th, 2014 | 22:00 CET (doors) | 23:00 CET (concerts) Sharp!
UNTIL Sunday, June 15th, 2014 | 11:00 CET (end)
NK | Elsenstr. 52 | 2. Hinterhaus/ Etage 2 | 12059 Berlin/ Neukölln | | | |

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