a walk through texts

"[John Cage], whilst discussing the effect of deliberate boredom in Satie’s music, put forward his ‘pet theory’ that [...] the source of this in Satie, [...] is the act of walking. Satie walked endlessly across Paris. Someone calculated that Wordsworth in his lifetime walked 24000 good English miles [...] And Rimbaud walked everywhere; Vachel Lindsey, Mayakovsky, and there are many other instances. These are all poets or musicians who composed while putting one foot in front of the other in a fairly boring, if you want, physical act, which nevertheless has its relationship to the heart-beat and the universe [...] I think that the source of Satie’s sense of musical bear – the possibility of variation within repetition, the effect of boredom on the organism – may well be this endless walking back and forth across the same landscape day after day, and finally taking it all in, which basically what Thoreau did: the total observation of a very limited and narrow environment.

Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer, Chicago: CUP 1990