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Encyclopedia > Erik Satie
Selfportrait of Erik Satie. The text reads (translated from French): Project for a bust of Mr. Erik Satie (painted by the same), with a thought: "I came into the world very young, in an age that was very old"
Selfportrait of Erik Satie. The text reads (translated from French): Project for a bust of Mr. Erik Satie (painted by the same), with a thought: "I came into the world very young, in an age that was very old"

Eric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer, pianist, and writer. Erik Satie (selfportrait) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Honfleur is a harbour commune in the Norman département of Calvados, in France, located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine, very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country France Région ÃŽle-de-France Département Paris (75) Subdivisions 20 arrondissements Mayor Bertrand Delanoë  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Pianist Claudio Arrau, Carnegie Hall, 1954. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ...


Dating from his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as, Erik Satie, as he said he preferred it. He wrote articles for several periodicals and, although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, there appears to have been a brief period in the late 1880s during which he published articles under the pseudonym, Virginie Lebeau. 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... A pseudonym (Greek pseudo + -onym: false name) is an artificial, fictitious name, also known as an alias, used by an individual as an alternative to a persons true name. ...


Satie introduced himself as a "gymnopedist" from 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. He also referred to himself as a "phonometrograph" or "phonometrician," meaning "someone who measures and writes down sounds" — he preferred this definition of his profession to "musician," after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers in 1911. Some view him as a serial precursor, being ahead of many twentieth century avant-garde artistic ideas; see below. 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... A musician is a person who plays or composes music. ... 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... A precursor is something that existed before and was incorporated into something that came later. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s The 20th century lasted from 1901 to 2000 in the Gregorian calendar (often from (1900 to 1999 in common usage). ... A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ...

Contents

Life and work

From Normandy to Montmartre

Satie house and museum in Honfleur
Satie house and museum in Honfleur

Erik Satie's youth was spent alternating between living in Honfleur, Basse-Normandie, and Paris. When he was four years old, his family moved to Paris, his father (Alfred), having been offered a translator's job in the capital. After his mother (born Jane Leslie Anton) died in 1872, he was sent, together with his younger brother Conrad, back to Honfleur, to live with his paternal grandparents. There he received his first music lessons from a local organist. When his grandmother died in 1878, the two brothers were reunited in Paris with their father, who remarried (a piano teacher) shortly afterwards. From the early 1880s onwards, Alfred Satie started publishing salon compositions (by his new wife and himself, among others). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (667x762, 157 KB) (from: fr:Image:MaisonSatie. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (667x762, 157 KB) (from: fr:Image:MaisonSatie. ... Honfleur is a harbour commune in the Norman département of Calvados, in France, located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine, very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie. ... Capital Caen Land area¹ 17,589 km² Regional President Philippe Duron (PS) (since 2004) Population  - Jan. ... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... An organist is a musician who plays the organ, whether pipe or electronic. ... 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1879 Satie entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he was soon labelled untalented by his teachers. After being sent home for two and a half years, he was re-accepted in the Conservatoire at the end of 1885 — but was unable to make a much more favourable impression on his teachers than he had before, so he finally resolved to take up military service a year later. This didn't last very long; within a few weeks he tried to leave the army through a trick, which eventually succeeded. 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Conservatoire de Paris, or Paris Conservatoire, has been central to the evolution of music in France and Western Europe. ... Military service is service in an army or other military organisation, whether as a chosen job or as the result of an involuntary draft (in that case usually termed conscription). ...


In 1887 he left home to take lodgings in Montmartre. By this time he had started what was to be a long-lived friendship with the romantic poet Patrice Contamine, and had had his first compositions published by his father. He soon integrated with the artistic clientèle of the Le Chat Noir Café-cabaret, and started publishing his Gymnopédies. Publication of compositions in the same vein (Ogives, Gnossiennes, etc.) followed. In the same period he got to know Claude Debussy. He moved to a smaller room, still in Montmartre (rue Cortot N° 6), in 1890. By 1891 he was the official composer and chapel-master of the Rosicrucian Order "Ordre de la Rose-Croix Catholique, du Temple et du Graal", led by Sâr Joséphin Péladan, which led to compositions such as Salut Drapeau!, Le Fils des étoiles, and the Sonneries de la Rose+Croix. Montmartre seen from the centre Georges Pompidou (1897), a painting by Camille Pissarro of the boulevard that led to Montmartre as seen from his hotel room. ... Chat Noir (French for black cat) was a famous 19th century cabaret in the notoriously bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. ... The Gymnopédies are three piano compositions by Erik Satie, which were published in Paris from 1888 on. ... Ogive is one of four pieces for piano, composed by Erik Satie in the late 1880s. ... The Gnossiennes are two series of three piano pieces by the famous French composer Erik Satie. ... Claude Debussy, ca. ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Temple of the Rosy Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618 The Rosicrucians are a legendary and secretive order dating from the 15th or 17th century, generally associated with the symbol of the Rose Cross, which is also used in certain rituals of the Freemasons. ... Joséphin Péladan (1858-1918) was a French martinist. ... Trois Sonneries de la Rose+Croix (Three Sonneries of the Rose+Cross) is a piano composition by Erik Satie, first published in 1892, while he was composer and chapel-master of the Rosicrucian Ordre de la Rose-Croix Catholique, du Temple et du Graal, led by Sâr Joséphin...


By mid-1892 he had composed the first pieces in a compositional system of his own making (Fête donnée par des Chevaliers Normands en l'Honneur d'une jeune Demoiselle), had provided incidental music to a chivalric esoteric play (two Préludes du Nazaréen), had had his first hoax published (announcing the premiere of Le Bâtard de Tristan, an anti-Wagnerian opera he probably never composed), and had broken with Péladan, starting that autumn with the Uspud project, a "Christian Ballet", in collaboration with Contamine de Latour. While the comrades from both the Chat Noir and Miguel Utrillo's Auberge du Clou sympathised, a promotional brochure was produced for the project, which reads as a pamphlet for a new esoteric sect. 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Woman under the Safeguard of Knighthood, allegorical Scene. ... Etymology Esoteric is an adjective originating during Hellenic Greece under the domain of the Roman Empire; it comes from the Greek esôterikos, from esôtero, the comparative form of esô: within. It is a word meaning anything that is inner and occult, a latinate word meaning hidden (from which... A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. ... Premiere, from French language première meaning first, generally means a first performance. Premieres for theatrical, musical, and other productions are often extravagant affairs, attracting large numbers of socialites and much media attention. ... Polish soldiers reading a German leaflet during the Warsaw Uprising A pamphlet is an unbound booklet (that is, without a hard cover or binding). ... A sect is generally a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ...

Portrait of Satie by Valadon
Portrait of Satie by Valadon

Satie and Suzanne Valadon, a successful artist and long-time friend of Miguel Utrillo, started an affair early in 1893. After their first night together, he proposed marriage. There was no marriage, but soon Valadon moved to a room next to Satie's at the Rue Cortot. Satie became obsessed with her, calling her his Biqui, and writing impassioned notes about "her whole being, lovely eyes, gentle hands, and tiny feet". During their relationship Satie composed the Danses Gothiques as a kind of prayer to restore peace of mind and Valadon painted a portrait of Satie, which she gave to him. After six months she moved away, leaving Satie broken-hearted. Afterwards, he said that he was left with nothing but an icy loneliness that fills the head with emptiness and the heart with sadness. Apparently, this would remain the only intimate relationship Satie ever had. photo of painting - public domain The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... photo of painting - public domain The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Suzanne Valadon (September 23, 1865 – April 7, 1938) was a French painter. ... 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


In the same year he met the young Maurice Ravel for the first time, Satie's style emerging in the first compositions of the youngster. One of Satie's own compositions of that period, the Vexations, was to remain undisclosed until after his death. By the end of the year he had founded the Eglise Métropolitaine d'Art de Jésus Conducteur (the Metropolitan Church of Art of the Leading Christ). As its only member, in the role of "Parcier et Maître de Chapelle" he started to compose a Grande Messe (later to become known as the Messe des Pauvres), and wrote a flood of letters, articles and pamphlets showing off his self-assuredness in religious and artistic matters. To give an example: he applied for membership of the Académie Française twice, leaving no doubt in the application letter that the board of that organisation (presided by Camille Saint-Saëns) as much as owed him such membership. Such proceedings without doubt rather helped to wreck his popularity in the cultural establishment. In 1895 he inherited some money, allowing him to have some more of his writings printed, and to change from wearing a priest-like habit to being the "Velvet Gentleman". Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French 20th century composer and pianist, known especially for the subtlety, richness and poignancy of his music. ... Vexations is a noted work by Erik Satie. ... LÉglise Métropolitaine dArt de Jésus Conducteur or the Metropolitan Church of Art of Jesus the Conductor,[1][2] alternatively translated as the Metropolitan Church of Art of Jesus, Leader[3] (et cetera), was founded by Erik Satie, the French composer and pianist. ... The Académie française In the French educational system an académie The Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... Charles Camille Saint-Saëns () (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer and performer, best known for his orchestral work The Carnival of the Animals. ... The Establishment is a pejorative slang term to refer to the traditional and usually conservative ruling class elite and the structures of society which they control. ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Moving to Arcueil – cabaret compositions, Schola Cantorum

By mid-1896 all his financial means had vanished, and he had to move to cheaper lodgings, first at the Rue Cortot, to a room not much bigger than a cupboard, and two years later (after he'd composed the two first sets of Pièces froides in 1897), to Arcueil, a suburb some ten kilometers from the centre of Paris (in the Val-de-Marne district of the Île-de-France ). 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Arcueil is a commune of the Val-de-Marne département, in France. ... Val-de-Marne is a French département, named after the Marne River, located in the ÃŽle-de-France région. ... Capital Paris Land area¹ 12,011 km² Regional President Jean-Paul Huchon (PS) (since 1998) Population  - Jan. ...


At this period he re-established contact with his brother Conrad (in much the way Vincent Van Gogh had with his brother Theo) for numerous practical and financial matters, disclosing some of his inner feelings in the process. For example, from his letters to his brother it's clear that he had set aside any religious ideas (which were not to return until the last months of his life); Satie used humour as he was often to do: to indicate a change of mind concerning subjects about which he had had strong views. Vincent van Gogh (; Dutch: ) (March 30, 1853 in Zundert – July 29, 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise) was a Dutch draughtsman and painter, classified as a Post-Impressionist. ...


From the winter of 18981899, Satie could be seen, as a daily routine, leaving his apartment in the Parisian suburb of Arcueil to walk across Paris to either Montmartre or Montparnasse, before walking back again in the evening. 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Montmartre seen from the centre Georges Pompidou (1897), a painting by Camille Pissarro of the boulevard that led to Montmartre as seen from his hotel room. ... The Montparnasse Tower, which at 209m was the tallest building in Western Europe when it was built. ...


From 1899 on he started making money as a cabaret pianist (mostly accompanying Vincent Hyspa, later also Paulette Darty), adapting over a hundred compositions of popular music for piano (or piano and voice), adding some of his own. The most popular of these were Je te veux (text by Henry Pacory), Tendrement (text by Vincent Hyspa), Poudre d'or (a waltz), La Diva de l'"Empire" (text by Dominique Bonnaud/Numa Blès), Le Picadilly (A March), Légende Californienne (text by Contamine de Latour lost, but the music later reappears in La Belle Excentrique), and many more (probably even more have been lost). In his later years Satie would reject all his cabaret music as vile and against his nature (although he revived some of the fun of it in his 1920 Belle excentrique), but for the time being, it was an income. 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...


Only a few compositions that Satie himself took seriously remain from this period: Jack-in-the-box, music to a pantomime by Jules Dépaquit (called a "clownerie" by Satie), Geneviève de Brabant, a short comic opera (?shadowy play) on a serious theme, text by Lord Cheminot, The Dreamy Fish, piano music to accompany a lost tale by Lord Cheminot, and a few others (mostly incomplete, hardly any of them staged, and none of them published at the time). It has been suggested that The British Pantomime be merged into this article or section. ...


Both Geneviève de Brabant and The Dreamy Fish have been analysed (e.g. by Ornella Volta) as containing elements of competition with Claude Debussy, of which Debussy was probably not aware (Satie not making this music public). Meanwhile, Debussy was having one of his first major successes with Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, leading a few years later to ‘who-was-precursor-to-whom’ debates between the two composers (in which Maurice Ravel would also get involved). Claude Debussy, ca. ... Pelléas et Mélisande (Pelléas and Mélisande) is an opera in five acts by Claude Debussy to a French libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck that almost exactly follows his famous symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande. ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French 20th century composer and pianist, known especially for the subtlety, richness and poignancy of his music. ...


In October 1905 Satie enrolled in Vincent d'Indy's Schola Cantorum to study classical counterpoint (while still continuing his cabaret work). Most of his friends were as dumbfounded as the professors at the Schola when they heard about his new plan to return to the classrooms (especially as d'Indy was an admiring pupil of Saint-Saëns, not particularly favoured by Satie). As for Satie's motivation for this step, there were probably two main reasons: first, he was tired of being told that the harmonisation of his compositions was erratic (a criticism he could not very well counter while not having completed any studies in music), and secondly, he was developing the idea that one of the most typical characteristics of French music was clarity (which could better be achieved with a good background knowledge of how traditional harmony was perceived). Satie would follow these courses at the Schola, as a respected pupil, for more than five years, receiving a first (intermediate) diploma in 1908. 1905 (MCMV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Photograph of Vincent dIndy Paul Marie Théodore Vincent dIndy (March 27, 1851 – December 2, 1931) was a French composer and teacher. ... Schola Cantorum founded in 1894 in France by Vincent dIndy, was devoted to early music, and was an alternative to the Paris Conservatoire. ... In music, counterpoint is a texture involving the simultaneous sounding of separate melodies or lines against each other, as in polyphony. ... Charles Camille Saint-Saëns () (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer and performer, best known for his orchestral work The Carnival of the Animals. ... Harmony is the result of polyphony (more than one note being played simultaneously). ...


Some of his classroom counterpoint-exercises would, after his death, be published (e.g., the Désespoir agréable), but he probably saw the En Habit de Cheval (published in 1911 as the result of "eight years hard work to come to a new, modern fugue") as the culmination of the Schola episode. Another summary, of the period prior to the Schola, also appeared in 1911: the Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, which was a kind of compilation of the best of what he had written up to 1903. 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ...


Something that becomes clear through these published compilations is that maybe he did not so much reject Romanticism (and its exponents like Wagner) as a whole (he has become more moderate in a way), as that he rejected certain aspects of it: musically the thing he rejected most consequently, from his very first composition to his very last, was the idea of development, certainly in the more strict definition of this term: the intertwining of different themes in a development section of a sonata form: naturally this makes his contrapuntal (and other works) very short: e.g. the "new, modern" Fugues do not extend further than the exposition of the theme(s). Generally he would say that he didn't think it permitted that a composer would take more time from his public than strictly necessary, certainly avoiding being boring in any way. Also Melodrama, in its historical meaning of the then popular romantic genre of "spoken words to a background of music", was something Satie appears to have succeeded quite well in staying clear of (although his 1913 Piège de Méduse could be seen as an absurdistic spoof of that genre). Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 – February 13, 1883) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ... Musical development is the transformation and restatement of initial material, often contrasted with musical variation, with which it may be difficult to distinguish as a general process. ... Sonata form is a musical form that has been used widely since the early Classical period. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition. ... Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914). ... 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Le piège de Méduse (Meduses trap) is a short play of which Erik Satie wrote both the text and the incidental music. ...


In the meanwhile some other changes had also taken place: he had become a member of a radical (socialist) party, had socialised with the Arcueil community (amongst other things, he'd been involved in the "Patronage Laïque" work for children), and he had changed his appearance to that of the 'bourgeois functionary' (with bowler hat, umbrella, etc.). Also, instead of involving himself again in any kind of medievalist sect, he channelled these interests into a peculiar secret hobby: in a filing cabinet he maintained a collection of imaginary buildings (most of them described as being made out of some kind of metal), which he drew on little cards. Occasionally, extending the game, he would publish anonymous small announcements in local journals, offering some of these buildings (e.g., a "castle in lead") for sale or rent. Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. ... Medievalism divides into both serious academic study of the medieval world and also leisure-time romanticism about that world. ... A sect is generally a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ... A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit. ...


Riding the waves

From this point, things started to move very quickly for Satie. First, there was, starting in 1912, the success of his new short, humorous piano pieces; he was to write and publish many of these over the next few years (most of them premiered by the pianist Ricardo Viñes): the Véritables Préludes flasques (pour un chien) ("Genuine Flabby Preludes (for a dog)"), the Vieux sequins et vieilles cuirasses ("Old Sequins and Old Breastplates"), the Embryons desséchés ("Dried up Embryos"), the Descriptions Automatiques, and the Sonatine Bureaucratique (a Muzio Clementi spoof), etc., all date from this period. His habit of accompanying the scores of his compositions with all kinds of written remarks was now well established (so that a few years later he had to insist that these not be read out during performances). He had mostly stopped using barlines by this time. In some ways these compositions were very reminiscent of Rossini's compositions from the final years of his life, grouped under the name Péchés de Vieillesse; Rossini also wrote short, humorous piano pieces like Mon prélude hygiénique du matin or Dried figs, etc., and would dedicate such pieces to his dog every year on its birthday. These pieces had been performed in the Rossinis' exclusive salon in Paris some decades earlier. In all probability, however, Satie hadn't seen or heard any of this music when he was composing his own piano music in the first decades of the 20th century; the Rossini piano pieces had not yet been published at that time. It is said that Diaghilev discovered the manuscripts of these Rossini pieces around 1918 at Naples, before staging La Boutique Fantasque — this was about the same time that Satie stopped writing humorous comments on his scores. 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Ricardo Viñes (5 February 1876 – 29 April 1943) was a Spanish pianist famous because of debuting many works by Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. ... Embryons desséchés (Dried up embryos) is a piano composition by Erik Satie, composed in the summer of 1913. ... Sonatine Bureaucratique or Bureaucratic sonatina is a piano composition by Erik Satie, that spoofs the Sonatina Op. ... Muzio Clementi (January 24, 1752 – March 10, 1832) was a classical composer, and acknowledged as the first to write specifically for the piano. ... Portrait Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868)[1] was an Italian musical composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. ... Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (&#1057;&#1077;&#1088;&#1075;&#1077;&#1081; &#1055;&#1072;&#1074;&#1083;&#1086;&#1074;&#1080;&#1095; &#1044;&#1103;&#1075;&#1080;&#1083;&#1077;&#1074;) (March 19, 1872 &#8211; August 19, 1929), often known as Serge, was a Russian ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes from which many famous... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The Bay of Naples Naples (Italian: , Neapolitan: Nàpule, from Greek Νεάπολη < Νέα Πόλις Néa Pólis New City) is the largest city in southern Italy and capital of the Campania region and the Province of Naples. ...


But the real acceleration in Satie's life didn't come so much from the increasing success of his new piano pieces; in fact it was Ravel who (probably unknowingly) triggered something that was to become a characteristic of Satie's remaining years: being a part of every progressive movement that manifested itself in Paris over the following years. These movements succeeded one another rapidly, while without doubt in these years Paris was the artistic capital of the world (long before London or New York would achieve much significance in this regard), and the beginning of the new century appeared to have set many minds on fire.


In 1910 the "Jeunes Ravêlites", a group of young musicians around Ravel, proclaimed their preference for Satie's earlier work (from before the Schola period), reinforcing the idea that Satie had been a precursor of Debussy. At first Satie was pleased that at least some of his works were receiving public attention, but when he realised that this meant that his more recent work was overlooked or dismissed, he looked for other young artists who related better to his more recent ideas, so as to have better mutual support in creative activity. Thus young artists such as Roland-Manuel, and later Georges Auric and Jean Cocteau, started to receive more of his attention than the "Jeunes". 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Alexis Roland-Manuel (22 March 1891 - 1 November 1966) was a French composer and critic. ... Georges Auric (February 15, 1899 &#8211; July 23, 1983) was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. ... Jean Cocteau Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (July 5, 1889 – October 11, 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager and filmmaker. ...


As a result of his contact with Roland-Manuel, he again takes up publicising his thoughts, much more ironic than he had done before (amongst other things, the Mémoires d'un amnésique and Cahiers d'un mammifère)[1].


With Jean Cocteau, whom he had first met in 1915, he started work on incidental music for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (resulting in the Cinq Grimaces). From 1916 Satie and Cocteau worked on the ballet Parade, which was premiered in 1917 by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, with sets and costumes by Pablo Picasso, and choreography by Léonide Massine. Through Picasso Satie also became acquainted with other cubists, such as Georges Braque, with whom he would work on other, aborted, projects. 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Title page of the first quarto (1600) A Midsummer Nights Dream is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare written sometime in the mid-1590s. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Parade is a ballet with music by Erik Satie and a one-act scenario by Jean Cocteau. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Diaghilev in 1909, by Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (Russian: Sergej Pavlovič Dâgilev), also referred to as Serge, (March 31, 1872 – August 19, 1929) was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes from which many famous dancers and choreographers would later arise. ... Léon Bakst: Firebird, Ballerina, 1910 The Ballets Russes was a ballet company established in 1909 by the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev and resident first in Paris and then in Monte Carlo. ... Young Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973) was a Spanish painter and sculptor. ... Choreography (literally dance-writing, also known as dance composition), is the art of making structures in which movement occurs, the term composition may also refer to the navigation or connection of these movement structures. ... Leonid Fyodorovich Myasin (August 9, 1896–March 15, 1979) was a Russian choreographer and ballet dancer. ... It has been suggested that Analytic cubism, Synthetic cubism be merged into this article or section. ... Violin and Candlestick, Paris, spring 1910 (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) Georges Braque (May 13, 1882 – August 31, 1963) was a French painter and sculptor, and with Pablo Picasso one of the inventors of cubism. ...


With Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, and Germaine Tailleferre he formed the Nouveaux Jeunes, shortly after writing Parade. Later the group was joined by Francis Poulenc and Darius Milhaud. In September 1918, Satie – giving little or no explanation – withdrew from the Nouveaux Jeunes. Jean Cocteau gathered the six remaining members, forming the Groupe des Six (to which Satie would later have access, but later again would fall out with most of its members). Louis Durey ( May 27, 1888 - July 3, 1979) was a French composer. ... Arthur Honegger in 1921. ... Germaine Tailleferre (April 19, 1892 - November 7, 1983) was a French composer and the only female member of the famous Group Les Six. ... Le Groupe des Six, 1922, by Jacques-Emile Blanche. ... Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (IPA: ) (January 7, 1899 - January 30, 1963) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. ... Darius Milhaud Darius Milhaud (September 4, 1892 – June 22, 1974) was a French composer and teacher. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Le Groupe des Six, 1922, by Jacques-Emile Blanche. ...


From 1919 he was in contact with Tristan Tzara, the initiator of the Dada movement. He got to know the other Dadaists, such as Francis Picabia (later to become a Surrealist), André Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, etc. On the day of his first meeting with Man Ray, they fabricated Man Ray's first readymade: The Gift (1921). Satie contributed to the Dadaist publication 391. In the first months of 1922 he was surprised to find himself entangled in the argument between Tzara and André Breton about the true nature of avant-garde art, epitomised by the Congrès de Paris failure. Satie originally sides with Tzara, but manages to maintain friendly relations with most players in both camps. Meanwhile, an "Ecole d'Arcueil" had formed around Satie, with young musicians like Henri Sauguet, Maxime Jacob, Roger Désormière and Henri Cliquet-Pleyel. 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Tristan Tzara (April 16, 1896 – December 25, 1963) is the assumed name of Sami Rosenstock, born in MoineÅŸti, Bacău, Romania, a poet and essayist who lived for the majority of his life in France. ... DaDa is an album by Alice Cooper, released in 1983 (see 1983 in music). ... Francis-Marie Martinez Picabia (January 28, 1879 - November 30, 1953) was a well-known painter and poet born of a French mother and a Spanish father who was an attaché at the Cuban legation in Paris, France. ... Psalm 69, egg tempera and oil on wood by Ernst Fuchs Surrealism[1] is a movement stating that the liberation of our mind, and subsequently the liberation of the individual self and society, can be achieved by exercising the imaginative faculties of the unconscious mind to the attainment of a... Charing Cross Bridge, London (1906) André Derain (June 10, 1880 - September 8, 1954) was a French painter and a illustrator. ... Marcel Duchamp. ... Man Ray, photographed at Gaite-Montparnasse exhibition in Paris by Carl Van Vechten on June 16, 1934 Man Ray (August 27, 1890–November 18, 1976) was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. ... Found art, or more commonly and less confusingly, Found Object (French: objet trouvé) is a term used to describe art created from common objects not normally considered to be artistic (also assemblage). ... The Gift (Le Cadeau in French) is an early readymade by Man Ray (with the assistence of Erik Satie), consisting of an iron with nails glued to its sole, made in the early 1920s in Paris. ... André Breton (February 18, 1896 – September 28, 1966) was a French writer, poet, and surrealist theorist. ... Henri Sauguet (1901 - 1989) was a French composer. ... Roger Désormière (September 13, 1898 - October 25, 1963) was a French conductor. ...


Finally he composed an "instantaneist" ballet (Relâche) in collaboration with Picabia, for the Ballets Suédois of Rolf de Maré. In a simultaneous project, Satie added music to the surrealist film Entr'acte by René Clair, which was given as an intermezzo for Relâche. Relâche is French for cancellation. Relâche was the name Erik Satie and his surrealist (former Dada) friends gave to the ultimate ballet production in which Satie was involved as composer. ... Rolf de Maré, by Nils von Dardel (1916) Rolf de Maré (May 9, 1888 – April 28, 1964), was a Swedish art collector and leader of the Ballets Suédois in Paris in 1920–1925. ... Entracte is French for between the acts. It can have the meaning of a pause between two parts of a stage production, synonym to intermission, but is more often used to indicate that part of a theatre production that is performed between acts as an intermezzo or interlude. ... René Clair (November 11, 1898 – March 15, 1981) was a French filmmaker. ...


Other work and episodes in this last period of Satie's life:

  • Since 1911 he had been on friendly terms with Igor Stravinsky, about whom he would later write articles.
  • Le Piège de Méduse (1913) had a quite unique position in Satie's oeuvre, as it was a stage work conceived and composed seemingly without any collaboration with other artists.
  • Sports et divertissements was a kind of multi-media project, in which Satie provided piano music to drawings made by Charles Martin, composed in 1914 (publication and first public performance in the early 1920s).
  • He got in trouble over an insulting postcard he had written to one of his critics shortly after the premiere of Parade; he was condemned to a week of imprisonment, but was finally released as a result of the (financial) intercession of Winnaretta Singer, Princess Edmond de Polignac.
  • Singer, who had learnt ancient Greek when she was over 50, had commissioned a work on Socrates in October 1916; this would become his Socrate, which he presented early in 1918 to the Princess.
  • From 1917 Satie wrote five pieces of furniture music ("Musique d'ameublement") for different occasions.
  • From 1920, he was on friendly terms with the circles around Gertrude Stein, amongst others, leading to the publication of some of his articles in Vanity Fair (commissioned by Sibyl Harris).
  • Some works would originate under the patronage of the count Etienne de Beaumont, from 1922 onwards:
    • La Statue retrouvée (or "Divertissement"): another Satie-Cocteau-Picasso-Massine collaboration.
    • Ludions: a setting of nonsense rhyme by Léon-Paul Fargue
    • Mercure: the subtitle of this piece ("Poses plastiques") suggests it might have been intended rather as an emulation of the tableau vivant genre than as an actual ballet, the "tableaux" being cubist, by Picasso (and Massine).
  • During his final years Satie travelled; for example, in 1924 to Belgium, invited by Paul Collaer, and to Monte Carlo for the premiere of a work on which he had collaborated.

1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, Igor Fëdorovič Stravinskij) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian composer best known for three compositions from his earlier, Russian period: LOiseau de feu (The Firebird) (1910), Petrushka (1911), and Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) (1913). ... Le piège de Méduse (Meduses trap) is a short play of which Erik Satie wrote both the text and the incidental music. ... 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Opus, from the Latin word opus meaning work, is usually used in the sense of a work of art. Some composers musical pieces are identified by opus numbers which generally run either in order of composition or in order of publication. ... Charles Martin, a noted poet, critic and translator, was born in New York City in 1942 and grew up in the Bronx. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Winnaretta Singer [1] (8 January 1865-26 November 1943), Princess Edmond de Polignac, was an important musical patron, lesbian, and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. ... Socrates (Greek: Σωκράτης, invariably anglicized as , Sǒcratēs; 470–399 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher who is widely credited for laying the foundation for Western philosophy. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Socrate is a work for voice and small orchestra (or piano) by Erik Satie. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Furniture music, or musique d’ameublement, was French avant-garde composer Erik Saties theory of minimalist background music. ... Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American writer and catalyst in the development of modern art and literature, who spent most of her life in France. ... Vanity Fair is a glossy American glamour magazine monthly that offers a mixture of articles on high-brow culture, jet-set and entertainment-business personalities, politics, and current affairs. ... 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Nonsense verse is a form of poetry, normally composed for humorous effect, which is intentionally and overtly paradoxical, silly, witty, whimsical or just plain strange. ... Léon-Paul Fargue (March 4, 1876 - November 24, 1947) was a French poet and essayist. ... Tableau vivant, Folies Bergères c. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Monte Carlo is a very wealthy section of the city-state of Monaco known for its casino, gambling, beaches, glamour, and sightings of famous people. ...

Epilogue: the shrine of Arcueil

At the time of Satie's death in 1925, absolutely nobody else had ever entered his room in Arcueil since he had moved there twenty-seven years earlier. What his friends would discover there, after Satie's burial at the Cimetière d'Arcueil, had the allure of the opening of the grave of Tutankhamun; apart from the dust and the cobwebs (which among other things made clear that Satie never composed using his piano), they discovered numerous items that included, 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... Arcueil is a commune of the Val-de-Marne département, in France. ... Nebkheperure Lord of the forms of Re Nomen Tutankhaten Living Image of the Aten Tutankhamun Hekaiunushema Living Image of Amun, ruler of Upper Heliopolis Horus name Kanakht Tutmesut The strong bull, pleasing of birth Nebty name Neferhepusegerehtawy One of perfect laws, who pacifies the two lands[1] Wer-Ah-Amun...

  • great numbers of umbrellas, some that had apparently never been used by Satie,
  • the portrait of Satie by Suzanne Valadon, shown above,
  • love-letters and drawings from the Valadon romance,
  • other letters from all periods of his life,
  • his collection of drawings of medieval buildings (only then did his friends see a link between Satie and certain previously anonymous, journal advertisements regarding "castles in lead" and the like),
  • other drawings and texts of autobiographical value,
  • other memorabilia from all periods of his life, amongst which were the seven velvet suits from his Velvet gentleman period.

Most importantly, however, everywhere there were compositions that were totally unknown or which were thought to have been lost. They were found behind the piano, in the pockets of the velvet suits, and in other odd places. These included the Vexations, Geneviève de Brabant, and other unpublished or unfinished stage works, The Dreamy Fish, many Schola Cantorum exercises, a previously unseen set of "canine" piano pieces, several other piano works, often without a title. Some of these works would be published later as more Gnossiennes, Pièces Froides, Enfantines, and Furniture music). An umbrella is a device used to keep rain off a person. ... Medievalism divides into both serious academic study of the medieval world and also leisure-time romanticism about that world. ... Vexations is a noted work by Erik Satie. ... Schola Cantorum founded in 1894 in France by Vincent dIndy, was devoted to early music, and was an alternative to the Paris Conservatoire. ... The Gnossiennes are two series of three piano pieces by the famous French composer Erik Satie. ... Furniture music, or musique d’ameublement, was French avant-garde composer Erik Saties theory of minimalist background music. ...


"Petit dictionnaire d'idées reçues" (short dictionary of preconceived ideas)

Audio samples:

"Idée reçue" is a play on words; in French it is the normal term for "prejudice", but Satie used it as the non-material equivalent of found objects (as in readymades) — for example, when he incorporated odd bits of music by Saint-Saëns and Ambroise Thomas in his furniture music. This section treats some popular (mis)conceptions regarding Satie and his music: Note names and MIDI note numbers MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is an industry-standard electronic communications protocol that enables electronic musical instruments, computers and other equipment to communicate, control and synchronize with each other in real time. ... Image File history File links Erik_Satie_-_Ogive_No. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Image File history File links Erik_Satie_-_Ogive_No. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Image File history File links Erik_Satie_-_Ogive_No. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Image File history File links Erik_Satie_-_Ogive_No. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Image File history File links Carrelage_phonique. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Furniture music, or musique d’ameublement, was French avant-garde composer Erik Saties theory of minimalist background music. ... Found art, or more commonly and less confusingly, Found Object (French: objet trouvé) is a term used to describe art created from common objects not normally considered to be artistic (also assemblage). ... Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas (August 5, 1811 - February 12, 1896) was a French opera composer. ...


Satie and furniture music: not all of Satie's music is furniture music. In the strict sense the term applies only to five of his compositions, which he wrote in 1917, 1920, and 1923. For the first public performance of furniture music see Entr'acte. Furniture music, or musique d’ameublement, was French avant-garde composer Erik Saties theory of minimalist background music. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Entracte is French for between the acts. It can have the meaning of a pause between two parts of a stage production, synonym to intermission, but is more often used to indicate that part of a theatre production that is performed between acts as an intermezzo or interlude. ...


Satie as precursor: the only "precursor" discussion Satie was involved in during his lifetime was whether or not he was a precursor of Claude Debussy, but many would follow. Over the years Satie would be described as a precursor of movements and styles as varied as Impressionism, neo-classicism, Dada, Surrealism, atonalism, minimalism, conceptual art, the Theatre of the Absurd, muzak, ambient music, multimedia art, etc., and as taking the first steps towards techniques such as prepared piano and music-to-film synchronisation. Further, Satie became one of the first musicians to perform a cameo appearance - he was in a 1924 film by René Clair (see: a sample of the film (rm format) and the Entr'acte article). Claude Debussy, ca. ... Impressionism was a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists who began publicly exhibiting their art in the 1860s. ... Neoclassicism in music was a 20th century development, particularly popular in the period between the two World Wars, in which composers drew inspiration from music of the 18th century, though some of the inspiring canon was drawn as much from the Baroque period as the Classical period - for this reason... DaDa is an album by Alice Cooper, released in 1983 (see 1983 in music). ... Psalm 69, egg tempera and oil on wood by Ernst Fuchs Surrealism[1] is a movement stating that the liberation of our mind, and subsequently the liberation of the individual self and society, can be achieved by exercising the imaginative faculties of the unconscious mind to the attainment of a... Atonality in a general sense describes music that departs from the system of tonal hierarchies that are said to characterized the sound of classical European music from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. ... Minimalist music is a genre of post-1960s classical music and experimental music which displays some or all of the following features: emphasis on consonant harmony, if not functional tonality; reiteration of musical phrases, with subtle, gradual, and/or infrequent variation over long periods of time, possibly limited to simple... Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs (1965) Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. ... The Theatre of the Absurd or Le Théâtre de lAbsurde is a phrase used in reference to particular plays written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. ... Muzak Holdings LLC is a company, founded in 1934, that is best known for distribution of music to retail stores and other companies. ... Ambient music is a loosely defined musical genre that incorporates elements of a number of different styles - including jazz, electronic music, new age, rock and roll, modern classical music, reggae, traditional, world and even noise. ... A prepared piano is a piano that has had its sound altered by placing objects (preparations) between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers. ... Synchronization is coordination with respect to time. ... Martin Scorsese appears briefly in an uncredited role in this scene from his feature film Taxi Driver. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... René Clair (November 11, 1898 – March 15, 1981) was a French filmmaker. ... Entracte is French for between the acts. It can have the meaning of a pause between two parts of a stage production, synonym to intermission, but is more often used to indicate that part of a theatre production that is performed between acts as an intermezzo or interlude. ...


All by himself Satie appears to have been the avant-garde to half of the avant-garde movements of the 20th century. Many of these "precursorisms" are possibly based on quite superficial resemblances only, while, on the other hand, he undeniably inspired and influenced many later artists, and their ideas. According to Milhaud, Satie had "prophesied the major movements in classical music to appear over the next fifty years within his own body of work." There is a website exploring that theory in detail: Erik Satie's Crystal Ball (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901&#8211;2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900&#8211;1999...


Satie as humorist: many would be surprised to know how many of Satie's seemingly humorous compositions were at heart taken very seriously by him. When he forbade commentaries written in his partitions to be read aloud, he probably saw this himself as a means to safeguard the seriousness of his intentions. When, at the first public performance of Socrate, there was laughter, he felt hurt. Many other examples of his serious attitude can be found, but there's no doubt that Satie was a witty person, certainly not without many humorous idiosyncrasies. Look up partition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Socrate is a work for voice and small orchestra (or piano) by Erik Satie. ... Idiosyncrasy is a seldom used word defined as a structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. ...


Satie and compositions in three parts: although many of his compositions (e.g., most of the pre-war piano pieces) were indeed in three parts, there is no general rule in this respect. After his death, publishers would force more of them into an artificial three-part structure; Satie had actually already made a joke of such proceedings with his seven-part Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, which is French for "Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear." Combatants Allied Powers: British Empire France Italy Russia United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Germany Ottoman Empire Commanders Ferdinand Foch Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Wilhelm II Paul...


Satie and (lack of) money: although Satie certainly knew periods of dire poverty, and was perhaps a little uncontrollable in his spending, in long periods of his life he had few worries in this sense. Although maybe not having much money in his pockets, he was (certainly from the second decade of the new century) often invited to expensive restaurants and to all sort of events, and was given financial help, by all sorts of people. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901&#8211;2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900&#8211;1999...


Satie as an opponent of other musical styles. The musical styles Satie opposed were allegedly numerous: Wagnerism, Romanticism (Saint-Saëns, Franck, etc.), Impressionism (Debussy and Ravel), Expressionism (later Ravel), Slavism (Stravinsky), post-Wagnerism (Schoenberg), cabaret music, etc. Apart from some animosities on the personal level (which can be seen as symptomatic of most adherents of avant-garde movements of those days), Satie's ideas on other music of his time generally had more subtlety; for example, about César Franck he could not be brought to write critically, but would avoid the issue with jokes ("Franck's music shows surprisingly much Franckism; Some even say César Frank was lazy, which is not a commendable property in a hard working man"). Perhaps the same can be said as above regarding "Satie as precursor": there is much empty discussion – for example, the debate with Debussy appears to have been over whether or not Satie was a precursor of Impressionism, which would not have made much sense if he had been opposed to Impressionism as such. Expressionism as a musical genre is notoriously difficult to exactly define. ... Schoenberg redirects here. ... Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue — a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting around the tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance. ... César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (December 10, 1822 – November 8, 1890), a composer, organist and music teacher of Belgian origin, was one of the great figures in classical music in France (and the world) in the second half of the 19th century. ...


Satie and boredom. Lacking any form of development, Satie's compositions tend to be very short; a typical movement of a Satie composition takes less than two minutes to play, and compositions with more than five movements are exceptional. Even his larger-scale works conforming to the genres known in his time would be two to five times shorter than the usual duration of such compositions (Socrate, a secular oratorio - or "symphonic drama" - lasting about half an hour, is the longest). In general, Satie thought it to be a great fault for a composer to bore his audience in any way. There are eight of his compositions that use repetition as a compositional technique, more than doubling the total duration: Musical development is the transformation and restatement of initial material, often contrasted with musical variation, with which it may be difficult to distinguish as a general process. ... In music, a movement is a large division of a larger composition or musical form. ... This article concerns secularity, that is, being secular, in various senses. ... An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ...

  • Vexations: with 840 repetitions of the musical motif (and many more of the melody of the bass), this is definitely the longest single-movement work with a defined number of repetitions (note that, without the repetitions, the actual music takes less than two minutes to play). No explanation by Satie survives regarding the exceptional length of the piece. If excluding the Tango mentioned in the next point, performing the Vexations takes longer than all his other music played in sequence.
  • For Le Tango ("The Tango"), a rather catchy tune from Sports et divertissements, Satie indicates in the score perpétuel (i.e. something like a perpetuum mobile, which in French is "mouvement perpétuel"). There is little indication how Satie understood this "perpetual", apart that at the premiere, at least assisted by Satie, there was obviously nothing repeated ad infinitum, taken literally. When performed for a recording there is seldom more than one repeat of this part of the composition, making it one of the shortest tangos ever, something like a Minute Tango.
  • Five pieces of furniture music, which were intended as "background" music with no number of repeats specified. The circumstances in which such music was performed by Satie himself indicate, however, that the total playing times would be intended to be the usual 'intermission' time of a stage production (see Entr'acte). While the public was not expected to be silent, these compositions can hardly be seen as an experiment in boredom.
  • His music for the film Entr'acte has ten repeat zones in order to synchronise with the twenty-minute film (which has a very varied plot, so not much boredom is to be found there either).

Satie and sexuality: much has been said about Satie's sexuality, ranging from "hidden" homosexuality to "ordinary" heterosexuality. In fact, apart from the short-lived, and highly "idealised", Valadon period, Satie's behaviour appeared more or less asexual: he tended to be dismissive when the topic of sexuality came up. See also: Gymnopédie. Vexations is a noted work by Erik Satie. ... Perpetuum mobile (Latin), moto perpetuo (Italian), mouvement perpétuel (French), literally meaning perpetual motion, are terms applied to pieces of music, or parts of pieces, characterised by a continuous steady stream of notes, usually at a rapid tempo. ... Tango music is traditionally played by an orquesta típica, a sextet which includes two violins, piano, doublebass, and two bandoneons. ... Entracte is French for between the acts. It can have the meaning of a pause between two parts of a stage production, synonym to intermission, but is more often used to indicate that part of a theatre production that is performed between acts as an intermezzo or interlude. ... This article is about human asexuality; asexual reproduction is a separate topic. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ...


Notes

  1. ^ English translations of these pieces were published in A Mammal's Notebook, see Sources section below.

See also

A number of works by Erik Satie are listed in the Category of compositions by Erik Satie and the Category of writings by Erik Satie.


Sources

In English, unless indicated:

Writings by Satie
  • A Mammal's Notebook: Collected Writings of Erik Satie (Serpent's Tail; Atlas Arkhive, No 5, 1997) ISBN 0-947757-92-9 (with introduction and notes by Ornella Volta, translations by Anthony Melville, contains several drawings by Satie)
  • Correspondance presque complète: Réunie, établie et présentée par Ornella Volta (Paris: Fayard/Imes, 2000; 1265pp) ISBN 2-213-60674-9 (an almost complete edition of Satie's letters, in French)
Books on Satie
  • Volta, Ornella and Simon Pleasance, Erik Satie (Hazan: The Pocket Archives Series, 1997; 200pp) ISBN 2-85025-565-3
  • Gillmor, Alan M., Erik Satie (Twayne Pub., 1988, reissued 1992; 387pp) ISBN 0-393-30810-3
  • Volta, Ornella, transl. Michael Bullock, Satie Seen Through His Letters (Marion Boyars, 1989) ISBN 0-7145-2980-X
  • Orledge, Robert, Satie Remembered (London: Faber and Faber, London, 1995)
  • Orledge, Robert, Satie the Composer Cambridge University Press: 1990; 437pp — in the series Music in the Twentieth Century [ed.] Arnold Whittall) ISBN 0-521-35037-9
  • Templier, Pierre-Daniel (translated by Elena L. French and David S. French), Erik Satie (The MIT Press, 1969, reissued 1971) ISBN 0-262-70005-0 and (New York: Da Capo Press, 1980 reissue) ISBN 0-306-76039-8 (note: Templier extensively consulted Conrad, Erik Satie's brother, when writing this first biography that appeared in 1932. The English translation was, however, criticised by John Cage; in a letter to Ornella Volta (25 May 1983) he referred to the translation as disappointing compared to the formidable value of the original biography)
  • Whiting, Steven, Satie the Bohemian: from Cabaret to Concert Hall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999; 596pp) — a fully researched account of Satie's musical career in what then was regarded as popular music)
Other

Robert Orledge was born in Bath, Somerset on 5 January 1948. ... Robert Orledge was born in Bath, Somerset on 5 January 1948. ... John Cage For the character of John Cage from the TV show Ally McBeal see: John Cage (Character) John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer, writer and visual artist. ... May 25 is the 145th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (146th in leap years). ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Recordings and arrangements

Piano works

Recordings of Satie's piano works have been released performed by Reinbert de Leeuw, Pascal Rogé, Olof Höjer, Claude Coppens (live recording), Aldo Ciccolini, Daniel Varsano, Philippe Entremont, João Paulo Santos, Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, etc. Pascal Rogé is a French pianist who was born in Paris on April 6, 1951. ... Claude Coppens is a Belgian pianist and composer born 1936. ... Aldo Ciccolini (born August 15, 1925), is an Italian-born French pianist. ... Philippe Entremont (b. ... Michel Legrand (born February 24, 1932 in Paris) is a French musical composer, arranger, conductor and pianist. ... Jacques Loussier (born 26 October 1934 in Angers, northwestern France) is a noted pianist and composer. ... Jean-Yves Thibaudet (1961) is a notable French pianist. ...

Orchestral and vocal
  • A recording of historical importance is probably Erik Satie, Les inspirations insolites, re-issued by EMI as a 2-CD set, containing among other pieces: Geneviève de Brabant (in a version before Contamine's text had been recovered), Le piège de Méduse, Messe des pauvres, etc.
  • Many other recordings exist: Parade/Relâche (Michel Plasson / Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse), Satie: Socrate [etc.] (Jean-Paul Fouchécourt / Ensemble), and recordings of songs, e.g., by Anne-Sophie Schmidt.
Arrangements

Various composers and performers have made arrangements of Satie's piano pieces for chamber ensembles and orchestras, including Debussy. The EMI Group is a music company comprising the major record label, EMI Music, based in Brook Green in London, England, and EMI Music Publishing, based on Charing Cross Road, London. ... Le piège de Méduse (Meduses trap) is a short play of which Erik Satie wrote both the text and the incidental music. ... United States Marines on parade. ... Relâche is French for cancellation. Relâche was the name Erik Satie and his surrealist (former Dada) friends gave to the ultimate ballet production in which Satie was involved as composer. ... Michel Plasson (born 2 October 1933 in Paris, France) is a French conductor. ... The Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse is the orchestra of the city of Toulouse. ... Jean-Paul Fouchécourt is a French tenor, best known as an opera singer. ...


In 2000, ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett released the album, "Sketches of Satie", performing Satie's works on acoustic guitar, with contributions by his brother John on flute. Frank Zappa was also a devoted fan of Satie, incorporating many elements into both his rock and orchestral works. Genesis is an English progressive rock band formed in 1967. ... Steve Hackett (born Stephen Richard Hackett on February 12, 1950, in Pimlico, England) is a writer and guitarist. ... John Hackett is British flautist and brother of guitarist Steve Hackett. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Frank Vincent Zappa[1] (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, guitarist, singer, film director, and satirist. ...


External links

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Erik Satie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4294 words)
From the winter of 1898–1899, Satie could be seen, as a daily routine, leaving his apartment in the Parisian suburb of Arcueil to walk across Paris to either Montmartre or Montparnasse, before walking back again in the evening.
Satie as precursor: the only "precursor" discussion Satie was involved in during his lifetime was whether or not he was a precursor of Claude Debussy, but many would follow.
Over the years Satie would be described as a precursor of movements and styles as varied as Impressionism, neo-classicism, Dada, Surrealism, atonalism, minimalism, conceptual art, the Theatre of the Absurd, muzak, ambient music, multimedia art, etc., and as taking the first steps towards techniques such as prepared piano and music-to-film synchronisation.
Erik Satie (1866-1925) Biography (411 words)
Erik Alfred Leslie Satie (1866-1925); born May 17, 1866 in Honfleur, Basse-Normandie, France, Erik Satie was a music composer, and a performing pianist, though mainly for café- and cabaret audiences.
Satie wrote this ballet together with Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso for the Russian impresario Diaghilev, leader of the Ballets Russes.
Erik Satie died on July 1, 1925 and is buried in Cimetiere d'Arcueil, Arcueil, France.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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