La Journée du Musicien

I am having a great time setting Eric Satie’s quirky text La Journée du Musicien. This text details Satie’s (alleged) daily schedule and if a quarter of it is true then he was quite the character! My setting is to be for baritone voice with harp and violin. I am lucky enough to be working with one of the country’s finest young baritones in Michael Lampard who I previously composed a trio of Shakespeare settings during my bachelor degree. I encourage all interested to visit his website and hear his recordings!

Eric Satie c. 1921


La journee du musicien              

An artist must measure his life. My daily schedule is precisely as follows. Seven eighteen, I rise. Ten twenty-three, I am inspired. Lunch is served at eleven past twelve and finished at twelve fourteen. From nineteen past one to fifty-three past two, constitutional ride around my domain, in the depths of the woods. From twelve past three to seven past four, am inspired once more. From four twenty-one to six forty-seven, Miscellaneous activities, fencing, reflecting, sitting still, visiting, contemplating, acrobatics, swimming, etcetera etcetera. Dinner is served at seven sixteen and finished at twenty past seven, Then come symphonic readings, in a loud voice, from nine past eight to nine fifty-nine. Every day I go to bed at ten forty-seven. Once a week, on Tuesdays, at three nineteen am, I awake in a fright. I eat only white foods: eggs, sugar, coconuts, chicken cooked in white water, mold scraped from fruit, rice, turnips, oatmeal pudding, noodles, cream cheese, cotton-ball salad and whitefish (sans skin). I have my wine boiled, and then served cold, with fuchsia berry juice. I have a good appetite, but never speak while eating, for fear I might choke. I breathe carefully, a little at a time. I dance only rarely. When walking, I wrap my arms around my chest and always look behind me. I strive to maintain a serious aspect at all times – when I do laugh, it’s a slip, for which I always apologise graciously. I sleep with one eye open, I sleep very heavily. My bed is round and has a hole for my head to go through. Every hour, a servant takes my temperature and gives me another one. For some time, I’ve been subscribing to a fashion magazine. I wear a white cap, white stockings and a white vest. My doctor has always advised me to smoke: Smoke, my good man, if you don’t, another shall smoke in your stead. – Eric Satie, trans. Nathalie Camerlynck

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