One of the best things about Erik Satie is that after a certain point in his life he started to pepper his piano miniature scores with all sorts of bizarre performance instructions meant to destabilize even the most seasoned performers.

Stuff like “With conviction and a rigorous sadness,” “With a healthy superiority,” “Don’t eat too much,” “Hypocritically,” “Shake like a leaf,” “Do not cough,” “Go away,” or “Like a nightingale with a toothache.”

For years I had heard about these directions, but without any kind of authoritative list of them I decided to download all the Erik Satie scores at IMSLP and screenshot my favorites.  There got to be so many that I had to present them in this sort-of-powerpoint format.  This collection isn’t anywhere near exhaustive, but it’s a nice introduction.  (The translations are for the most part my own, and I welcome any corrections.)

Oh, and if you’d like to read a nice introduction to Satie’s life, the proto-postmodern invention of “furniture music,” that time he founded his own religion, and the piece he wrote with 840 repeats in it, click here.

imagine a universe where there’s a device that allows you to hear your soulmate’s voice

imagine someone hearing a language they don’t know and travelling miles and miles to find their partner

imagine the mess of multiple voices coming through to a grinning polyamorous person

imagine an aromantic person being cajoled by their friends to just try it out, and the relief on their face when all they can hear is static

imagine the confusion on someone’s face when they hear the soft slide of one hand against another. imagine the light in their eyes when they bump into the new girl at school and she signs ‘hello!’

imagine people refusing to listen, but still instinctively knowing they’ve met the love of their life when they hear their laugh