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!
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