Memoirs of an Amnesiac

Matthew Verdon

Length: 8' 33"
Technique: Sound recording

The recording is based on a quote written by avant-garde composer Erik Satie, taken from his collection of writings titled Memoirs of an Amnesiac. The full quote describes a typical day in his somewhat eccentric lifestyle. The text, spoken by the artist, is repeated eight times with every second word removed from each reading. This applies a reductive strategy to the text, where it gets progressively shortened until eventually only the first sentence remains.

A feeling of dissonance is created, where the logical expression of language is disrupted, resulting in a mixture of sense and nonsense, seriousness and humour. The seemingly disconnected words are read at a steady pace in a monotone voice, where they function like the beat of a metronome, a device used to regulate the pace of music.