Past | Music

Mobilités sérieuses: The Vexations Crawl 

Vexations is one of the most infamous compositions by the idiosyncratic but beloved French composer Erik Satie (1866–1925). The short, chromatic work for piano lasts around two minutes but is (by the composer’s apparent instruction) to be repeated 840 times—taking around 30 hours to perform. Although not played or published during Satie’s lifetime; Vexations premiered in 1963, in a New York performance organized by John Cage. After numerous presentations around the world since then, the piece has acquired a reputation as an extraordinary experience for performers and audiences alike.

Faculty, students, and friends of Ohio State’s Department of Art and School of Music are delighted to present a full performance of this radical work that begins on November 16, continues through the night and following day, and ends the evening of November 17. It is organized as a “Vexations Crawl,” in which up to 20 pianists will take turns playing the music as the venue changes over time. A complement to the Wexner Center’s fall exhibition Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, the performance will begin in the Wex galleries and continue in the musical auditoriums of Hughes and Weigel Halls before ending in Hopkins Hall for a 4:30–5:30 PM reception.

The event is part of Blueprints for a Past Future, an exhibition and related programs in the Hopkins Hall Gallery that revisit the history of Black Mountain College’s radical educational program.

Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Department of Art and the School of Music.


Huntington Bank

Cardinal Health Foundation



Greater Columbus Arts Council

Ohio Arts Council

The Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation


Past Performing Arts

Mobilités sérieuses: The Vexations Crawl