Tuesday 13 April | Jenny Akroyd

For her #100DaysOfGreenNevis project, saxophonist Jenny Akroyd has taken a ‘green pledge’ and gone vegetarian.

Vegetarianism is going really well – I don’t even have to think about it now. As I near the end of the 100 days, I am now thinking more long term, and I am pretty certain I will continue beyond the end. Of course, temptations like summer BBQs and Christmas dinner will have to be assessed at the time, but overall, I am really glad that this 100 day pledge is going to have lasting impact on my lifestyle.

 I have continued to experiment with vegan baking. As well as trying out lots of recipes (https://www.thelittleblogofvegan.com wins hands down!), I have spent more time devising my own recipes. I often take inspiration from art and music when thinking of the designs for bakes, and this week’s vegan bake is no exception. Based off Erik Satie’s Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear, I have created ‘Three Pears in the Form of a Pie’!!!

Although most famous for his extremely tranquil Gymnopédies, Satie was very much a humorous eccentric. My favourite piece of his, Vexations (1893), highlights this character trait quite well. Accompanying the short section of piano music is an inscription telling the performer that it must be repeated 840 times! A performance would therefore last about 18 hours.

Satie’s Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear also highlights Satie’s eccentricities. For example, despite titled as three, there are in fact seven movements. Rumours also suggest that this piece was written as a tongue-in-cheek response to advice from Debussy that Satie should pay more attention to the form of his music. Satie did just that, and wrote them in the form of a pear. When Debussy asked why, Satie said the pieces could not be criticised for being shapeless, as they were in the shape of a pear. 

The pie itself is a caramelised pear, sultana and whisky, and unlike Satie, my title does actually reflect the contents, as I used three pears. I’d like to think that he would enjoy the novelty of my pie tribute.

You can listen to Erik Satie’s ‘Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire’ (Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear) here.

From 1 February 2021, Nevis is running #100DaysOfGreenNevis, where our musicians, staff and trustees will each take on a task for 100 days linked to Sustainability. We’d love you to join us, either by following the campaign online to get ideas of what you can do, or to show us you own actions for us to share. If you would like to know more, do get in touch at georgina@nevisensemble.org 

Nevis Ensemble’s #GreenNevis campaign in 2019 won the Environmental Sustainability award at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music, and was shortlisted for Best Campaign by Julie’s Bicycle.