Monday, October 01, 2007


Satie, the anecdote goes, once tried to compose – and have performed, live, in a Paris restaurant – literal background music. It was music meant to flavor a room the way perfume might scent the boudoir: something you don't quite notice but is there nonetheless. Or, in a slightly more famous analogy, it was music meant to be experienced like furniture: it may be there in the room with you – but you didn't have to pay attention to it.
In any case, social conventions of the time being what they were, whenever Satie's musicians, installed there in the restaurant, started to play, all the diners would stop talking, put their utensils down, and politely listen. Satie thus had to walk around the restaurant almost continuously for the next half-hour, passing from patron to patron, demanding that they stop listening to his music.



Post a Comment

<< Home