Chamberlab Vexations marathon to benefit ACLU of Arizona


Here’s an unusual event: 16 hours of music at the Hotel Congress & then at Maynards Kitchen & Cocktails, of various musicians playing the same piece 840 times — if they make it. And it’s a benefit for the ACLU of Arizona.  Donate now & drop by on Dec. 2nd to check it out. Having served on the ACLU of Arizona’s state board in Phoenix for 5 years, I will drop by sometime during this 16 hour “vexathon”/marathon.

“We’re playing Erik Satie’s VEXATIONS 840 times in a row to benefit the ACLU of Arizona! This is open to ALL MUSICIANS, and we hope you’ll take a chair and PLAY YOUR PART FOR FREEDOM!

Read all about it and sign up at!


34 performers,
74 sponsors,
$5,449.96 pledged!

We begin at 8:00 AM at Hotel Congress (311 E. Congress St), and we play for fourteen hours, and then, at 10:00 PM, we march in grand style, still playing, across the street to Maynards Market (400 N. Toole Ave.) for the final two-hour stretch and celebration. That’s a sixteen-hour Satie marathon to benefit the ACLU of Arizona!

If you are a MUSICIAN, you’re welcome to sign up for a spot in the orchestra! Just sign up to play the piece as many times as you possibly can!

If you are a SUPPORTER, you’ll sign up to sponsor a musician to play the piece as many times as they can. It’s like a charity walk-a-thon, but with MUSIC instead of MILES.

Every dime raised goes to benefit the ACLU of Arizona!

Please go to to get involved in this historic performance for a worthy cause!”

Good KXCI radio interview of Chamberlab’s Chris Black and ACLU of AZ attorney Billy Peard (based in Tucson) on this upcoming event:


  1. UPDATE from Chamberlab: :WE RAISED $16,731.85 FOR THE ACLU OF ARIZONA!
    On Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, ChamberLab (and friends) successfully played Erik Satie’s Vexations 840 times in a row in a marathon performance lasting nearly 16 hours!

    This historic performance was open to musicians of all ages and skill levels. A total of 34 musicians played throughout the event, representing a variety of backgrounds: classical, jazz, folk, rock. Most musicians surprised themselves, far exceeding their goals. The highest count was 232 repetitions by bassoonist Jessica Campbell. Rock on, Jessica!

    Depending on the time of day, the audience was treated to unusual combinations of ensembles. In the afternoon, there were two mandolins, three keyboards, a double bass and guitar. Later, the group included two cellos, a flute, keyboard, violin and trumpet. Around 10 p.m., bassoon, flute, melodica, trumpet and ukulele players continued the music as they marched across the street to Maynards Market & Kitchen for the final stretch and celebration.

    We would like to thank everyone involved in making this event a success: the performers, the sponsors, the volunteers, everyone at Hotel Congress and Maynards Market, and of course the amazing ACLU of Arizona.”

  2. Countdown to the end of this marathon. We were just there for the iterations of 655 to 695, with 2 keyboards, 2 cellos, 2 bassoons, one violin, one trumpet, one slide whistle, one flute (not all at the same time over 45 minutes). 10 p.m. they move over to Maynard’s, hopefully to finish the 840 time before midnight. Met Billy Peard the ACLU of AZ (Tucson) attorney, who has lived in Vermont and Massachusetts. What a marathon this has been today for these musicians.

  3. I was there at the Hotel Congress courtyard at high noon, with the vexations musical piece count at 236, then when I left it was at 254. Money raised was over $9,000, with seven musicians playing: 3 on keyboards, one guitar, one bass, and two mandolins. How fascinating to see these musicians attempt to all play together in a coherent fashion just one piece of music. Enjoy it today till midnight.

  4. Vexathon marathon starting in one hour/half. Status so far:

    “SO FAR:
    36 performers,
    94 sponsors,
    $7,602.68 pledged!

    Together, we can do this! Join us as a performer or sponsor!” Good luck Chamberlab, hope they find enough musicians to perform this piece 840 times today.

  5. Friday update from website:
    “SO FAR:
    34 performers,
    87 sponsors,
    $6,784.38 pledged!

    Together, we can do this! Join us as a performer or sponsor!”

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