SATIEfaction (Asian Premiere)

  • Gallery Theatre, Basement
  • 20 Jan 2017
  • 7.30pm (1h 40min including intermission, Post-show Q&A)
  • $38 per ticket. $31 concession for students with valid ID, senior citizens and NSFs.

SATIEfaction (Asian Premiere)
Erik Satie, Cage and Beyond
Performed by Margaret Leng Tan

Fri, 20 Jan | 7.30pm (1h 40min including intermission, Post-show Q&A)
Gallery Theatre, Basement

$38 per ticket. $31 concession for students with valid ID, senior citizens and NSFs.
Tickets are available from SISTIC. Ticket price includes $3 SISTIC fee.


Margaret Leng Tan, piano, toy piano
Daniel Jenkins, narrator
Great Small Works, video

In conjunction with the What is Not Visible is Not Invisible exhibition and in celebration of composer Erik Satie’s 150th birthday, legendary Singaporean pianist Margaret Leng Tan presents SATIEfaction, a multimedia evening of Satie and Satie-inspired music from John Cage, Toby Twining and Federico Mompou performed on piano and toy piano.

“It’s not a question of Satie’s relevance. He’s indispensable.” This is the ultimate tribute paid by the iconoclastic American composer John Cage, to the iconoclastic eccentric Frenchman, Erik Satie. A precursor of Debussy and Ravel, Satie was not only a composer of exquisite pianistic gems but an avant-gardist and a visionary. Cage was profoundly impressed by Satie’s disregard for the rule-book, his embrace of the absurd and the surreal, his unaffected blurring of high and low art. Fittingly Cage’s text on Satie will be performed, along with excerpts from Satie’s writings narrated by actor Daniel Jenkins.

Satie’s Sports et Divertissements will be heard along with Satie’s accompanying texts and projections of Charles Martin’s original illustrations. Ms. Tan will perform Cage’s Satie-influenced Dream and In a Landscape to images from her Erik Satie theatrical collaboration with Great Small Works. She will also present one of Cage’s last compositions, his Extended Lullaby for twelve music-boxes, in her own multiple-toy piano arrangement.

Toby Twining’s hauntingly melancholic Satie Blues for toy piano and piano, and Cançó i Dansa No. 1 by the Spanish miniaturist Federico Mompou deservedly round out SATIEfaction.

Beyond the Silence: The Legacy of John Cage
A workshop by Margaret Leng Tan

Sat, 4 Feb | 2pm (2-hour session)
The Salon, Level 1

John Cage – the composer, philosopher, writer, artist and mycologist – was your 20th-century Renaissance man. His revolutionary but prescient ideas have had a far-reaching impact on artists in all disciplines, and the cultural landscape of today would be very different if Cage had not existed. In declaring that there is no such thing as an absolute silence and broadening music’s definition to encompass all sound, Cage has made inroads into the Collective Unconscious.

Margaret Leng Tan, one of the most admired of Cage interpreters, worked with Cage from 1981 till his death in 1992. She will present a compelling and persuasive portrait of a true American original who not only upended conventional thinking, but whose pervasive influence on subsequent generations of artists has given the term “maverick” a whole new significance.

Free. Registration required.


About Margaret Leng Tan

Margaret Leng Tan is a classically-trained musician known for her work as a professional toy pianist, performing in major cities around the world on her 51cm-high toy pianos and unconventional instruments such as music boxes, toy harps and teapots.

Singapore-born, New York-based Tan won a scholarship to study at The Juilliard School at sixteen and in 1971, became the first woman to earn a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Juilliard. Since then she has become the diva of the toy piano and the prepared piano, inserting nuts and bolts into the instrument and playing it inside out to rave reviews. She received the Cultural Medallion in 2015.

Margaret Leng Tan is a Steinway Artist.

Image by Orlando Marra, courtesy of Great Small Works.


Exhibition Programmes
Author: National Museum of Singapore
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2017