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Eric Satie|埃里克·萨蒂 两篇随笔: a phonometrographer

Eric Satie, 19世纪末20世纪初法国作曲家。与超现实主义,达达艺术明星艺术家们关系密切。他幽默先锋,自称为一个测音师,其创作和思想影响了后来的极简音乐,氛围音乐,荒诞戏剧,实验电影等。下图为一位Satie的崇拜者所画,据说Satie从未有过弹钢琴的画像,于是有此灵感。

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1. Memories of an Amnesiac (Fragments), What I Am,  1912

Eric Satie

Everyone will tell you that I am not a musician.  It’s true.
From the beginning of my career I classed myself among phonometrographers.  My works are pure phonometry.  If one takes the “Son of the Stars” or the “Pieces in the Form of a Pear,” the “In Riding Habit” or the “Sarabands,” one can see that nomusical idea presided at the creation of these works.  They are dominated by scientific thought.
Besides, I get more pleasure from measuring a sound than I do from hearing it.  With phonometer in hand, I work surely and joyfully.
What haven’t I weighed or measured?  All of Beethoven, all of Verdi, etc.  It’s very curious.
The first time I used a phonoscope, I examined a B flat of average size.  I have, I assure you, never seen anything more disgusting.  I had to call my servant in to show it to him.
On my phono-weigher an ordinary F sharp, of a very common type, registered 93 kilograms.  It came out of a very fat tenor whose weight I also took.
Do you know how to clean sounds?  It’s a dirty business.  Cataloguing them is neater; to know how to classify them is a meticulous affair and demands good eyesight.  Here, we are in phonotechnics.
In regard to sonorous explosions, often so disagreeable, cotton placed in the ears attenuates them quite comfortably.  Here, we are in pyrophonics.
For writing my “Gold Pieces,” I employed a caleidophone register.  This took seven minutes.  I had to call my servant in to listen to it.
I believe that I can say that phonology is superior to music.  It is more varied.  You get paid more for it.  That’s how I made all my money.
In any case, with a metodynamophone, a phonometry expert with practically no experience can easily note down more sounds than the most skilled musician, in the same time, with the same effort.  It is thanks to it that I have been able to write so much.
The future therefore belongs to philophonics.

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Memoirs of an Amnesic: The Musician’s Day, 1913

Eric Satie

An artist must regulate his life.

Here is a time-table of my daily acts.
I rise at 7.18; am inspired from 10.23 to 11.47.
I lunch at 12.11 and leave the table at 12.14.
A healthy ride on horse-back round my domain follows from 1.19 pm to 2.53 pm.
Another bout of inspiration from 3.12 to 4.7 pm.
From 5 to 6.47 pm various occupations (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, dexterity, natation, etc.)
Dinner is served at 7.16 and finished at 7.20 pm.
From 8.9 to 9.59 pm symphonic readings (out loud).
I go to bed regularly at 10.37 pm.
Once a week (on Tuesdays) I awake with a start at 3.14 am.
My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coco-nuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin).
I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuschia.
I have a good appetite but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.
I breathe carefully (a little at a time) and dance very rarely.
When walking I hold my ribs and look steadily behind me.
My expression is very serious; when I laugh it is unintentional, and I always apologise very politely.I sleep with only one eye closed, very profoundly. My bed is round with a hole in it for my head to go through. Every hour a servant takes my temperature and gives me another.

For a long time I have subscribed to a fashion magazine.  I wear a white cap, white socks, and a white vest.
My doctor has always told me to smoke.  To this advice he adds, “Smoke, my friend: if it weren’t for that, another would be smoking in your place.”

Translated from the French by Robert Motherwell.
First published in S.I.M. (Journal of the Société Musicale Indépendent),
Paris, 15 April 1912, and 15 February 1913.

 

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