to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities.
The work emerged from obscurity in 1949 when Henri Sauguet, a friend of Satie in his last years, drew it to the attention of John Cage. At first Cage found it interesting as a concept but dismissed the possibility of a performance: "True, one could not endure a performance of Vexations ...but why give it a thought?". Nevertheless, in September 1963 Cage organised the first 'complete' performance of Vexations at the Pocket Theatre, New York. Since that occasion, Vexations has been performed numerous times by individuals and groups.
In short, Vexations is as puzzling to the eye as it is to the ear. This
accounts for the phenomenon, noted by Gavin Bryars, that performers - even
after repeating the piece many times - have difficulty remembering it and
must maintain intense concentration to avoid errors. The deliberate notational
obfuscation compels the performer to confront the piece anew with each repetition.|