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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reading Eric Packer Through Erik Satie

Erik Satie "Trois Gymnopédies"

How to Play Gymnopedie No1 by Erik Satie on 

Piano Lesson Pt1

If you listen to this music while you are reading this you will feel what Eric Packer says this music does for him. If you have access to a piano you can play it yourself with this fine tutorial. No previous music knowledge needed.

He rode to the marble lobby in the elevator that played Satie. (C 8)

I have two private elevators now. One is programmed to play Satie's piano pieces and to move at one-quarter normal speed. This is right for Satie and this is the elevator I take when I'm in a certain, let's say, unsettled mood. Calms me, makes me whole. (C  28-29)

In the Krasny youtube interviews DeLillo emphasizes that Eric Packer is not a normal Wall Street cyber financier. He reads poetry in different languages, he appreciates the art of Rothko, he listens to Satie and rap music. He has turned Satie into his very own musak musik elevator music. 

DeLillo's emphasis here is to project a character who is a  consumer of high avant garde culture. An aesthete perhaps. This contrasts with his Philip Dick sexual seduction dialogue with Elise. The paradox makes the dialogue very sexual indeed. 

I am equally sure that The Cronenberg did not include Eric Packer's ride down on his own elevator listening to Satie. 

Again we turn to Babette Babich, and a chain of signifiers floating all through Cosmopolis:

Nancy Babich, Nietzsche, excess, limits, implosion, aphoristic writing, musical writing, discontinuous, non linear, non- descriptive, non-explaining writing, writing that is all short, choppy dialogue even more so (Baudrillard) than the choppy, start and stop in quarter inches Foucauldian grid of New York City traffic and the power/knowledge/capital grid of our world where "there is no outside".
New York City Street Map

Agnes Martin

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