On of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a composer is dealing with the lack of structure of freelance work. I’m engaged in a never-ending battle to impose a daily schedule on my life, which tends to swing between the poles of overwhelming monsoons of work and anxiety-ridden droughts. But maybe for this matter, just like for musical inspiration, we can all look to the great masters for a little guidance. Here is infamous daily schedule of the legendary composer Erik Satie:
A Day in the Life of a Musician
by Erik Satie
An artist must regulate his life.
Here is a time-table of my daily acts. I rise at 7.18; am inspired from 10.23 to 11.47. I lunch at 12.11 and leave the table at 12.14. A healthy ride on horse-back round my domain follows from 1.19 pm to 2.53 pm. Another bout of inspiration from 3.12 to 4.7 pm. From 5 to 6.47 pm various occupations (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, dexterity, natation, etc.)
Dinner is served at 7.16 and finished at 7.20 pm. From 8.9 to 9.59 pm symphonic readings (out loud). I go to bed regularly at 10.37 pm. Once a week (on Tuesdays) I awake with a start at 3.14 am.
My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coco-nuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin). I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuschia. I have a good appetite but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.
I breathe carefully (a little at a time) and dance very rarely. When walking I hold my ribs and look steadily behind me.
My expression is very serious; when I laugh it is unintentional, and I always apologise very politely.
I sleep with only one eye closed, very profoundly. My bed is round with a hole in it for my head to go through. Every hour a servant takes my temperature and gives me another.
And here is a Spotify playlist for those unacquainted with Satie’s eccentric music, from the famous Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes to some deeper cuts.