Mark Orange - 'Digital Vexations' Edition, 2004
Digital Vexations, 2004
iPod digital music player with 19 hour audio piece. Edition of 5, plus 1 Artist's Proof

A 10GB iPod edition featuring a full version of Erik Satie's 'Vexations'.

'Vexations' was written in 1893, a simple piano piece based around a theme and two variations that takes about one minute to play. The work gained notoriety because of a note that Satie added to the manuscript: "To play this piece 840 times, it is necessary to prepare in advance in great silence and stillness."

The audio for this interpretation of the piece was created by sampling sounds of a mechanical music box; the piece completes the full 840 repetitions of Satie's theme, periodically slowing down and stopping, before being 'rewound' and resuming again. Transferred to the iPod, the total work lasts over 19 hours, completely filling the player's 10GB capacity and thus rendering it redundant for further music storage.


Digital Vexations in 'Do You Like Stuff?' at Swiss Institute, New York, Sept/Oct 2005.