Erik Satie - Gnossienne No.1 (Extended)
Video from αλώβητος κανένας
Erik Satie - History's Weirdest and Most Eccentric Musician
Video from Weird History
"Erik Satie was a French composer and pianist, born on May 17th, 1866 and by all accounts, he was thought of as a talentless musician in his formative years. At least that’s how Georges Mathias, his professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire described him. "Insignificant,” “laborious," and "worthless" were his exact words. Émile Decombes, another one of Satie’s piano professors called him "the laziest student in the Conservatoire." It’s true, Satie wasn’t much of an accomplished piano player -- he was a horrible sight reader -- but he was a master composer. His compositions have been featured on everything from The Simpsons and How I Met Your Mother to The Royal Tenenbaums, Dr. Who and The Benny Hill Show, not to mention hundreds of commercials." from video introduction
Asperger’s and Musical Creativity: The Case of Erik Satie
Abstract The link between psychopathology and creativity was investigated in the study of one individual: the French composer Erik Satie. The current literature puts much emphasis on the connection between creativity and the psychoses – such as schizophrenia and the affective disorders – but there is relatively little concerning other psychological disorders. Nevertheless, there has been a recent upswing in the study of autism and associated disorders (such as Asperger’s syndrome), and their association with creativity. The literature reviewed here included a number of biographies, books about the autism spectrum disorders, and articles detailing the psychopathology-creativity link. The aim was not to diagnose Satie with a psychological disorder, but to illustrate that he, who was highly creative, innovative and influential in the development of 20th century music, displayed many of the personality traits typical of Asperger’s syndrome. These include perfectionism, perseverance, hatred of conventions, and heightened sensitivity; these combined enabled Satie to devise his own original musical idiom. This case study alone does not – and was not intended to – answer the overall question regarding the existence of a psychopathology-creativity link; but it does support the idea in the context of current literature.
Introduction The French composer Erik Satie illustrates well a link between exceptional talent and personality traits associated with psychopathology. In reading biographies and memoirs capturing Satie’s life and behaviour, it was apparent that Satie expressed the characteristics and traits typical of Asperger’s syndrome (AS). Work began on the present study before the publication of the same conclusion in James’ (2006) book, Asperger’s Syndrome and High Achievement, providing further support for the idea that Satie may indeed have suffered Asperger’s syndrome. Satie is remembered for his music, which is deliberately modest and insignificant, and for his eccentric personality. Although Satie’s music has not achieved a firm place in the repertory (Machlis, 1961), he expressed harmonic innovation in his works, which represented a stark contrast to musical techniques of his immediate past. From the beginning, Satie dismissed the pretensions underlying the Austro-German style and Wagnerian music that was then the mainstream. Furthermore, Satie’s music facilitated the emergence of twentieth century avant-gardism, influencing the music of Debussy (arguably), Ravel, Poulenc and Cage (Gowers, 1980). Satie also became involved with various artistic movements including Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism. He was an important pioneering figure in film music, and the inventor of what is known today as Muzak. He has often been described as an original musician who was ahead of his time and of great genius (Gowers, 1980).." from the article:
Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No.1
Video from Distant Mirrors
"Alfred Eric Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 -- Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Starting with his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as Erik Satie. Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrograph" or "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures (and writes down) sounds") preferring this designation to that of "musician," after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911. In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music and the Theatre of the Absurd. The Gymnopédies, published in Paris starting in 1888, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist, Erik Satie. These short, atmospheric pieces are written in 3/4 time, with each sharing a common theme and structure. Collectively, the Gymnopedies are regarded as the precursors to modern ambient music - gentle yet somewhat eccentric pieces which, when composed, defied the classical tradition. For instance, the first few bars feature a disjunct chordal theme in the bass - first, a G-major 7th in the bass, and then a B-minor chord, also in the lower register. Then comes the one-note theme in D major. Although the collection of chords at first seems too complex to be harmonious, the melody soon imbues the work with a soothing atmospheric quality. Satie himself used the term "furniture music" to refer to some of his pieces, implying they could be used as mood-setting background music. However, Satie used this term to refer to only some of his later, 20th century compositions, without specific reference to the Gymnopédies as background music. From the second half of the 20th century on, the Gymnopédies were often erroneously described as part of Satie's body of furniture music, perhaps due to John Cage's interpretation of them. [from Wikipedia] Artwork: Leonora Carrington "The Temptation of St.Anthony" Played by: Daniel Varsano, Philippe Entremont." from video introduction
Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Erik Satie
Erik Satie (1866–1925) was a French composer and pianist. Today he is best known to us through his well-loved Gymnopédies, the small melancholic piano pieces from 1890, but at the time of his death in 1925, Satie was barely known beyond the city limits of Paris.
Erik Satie, the well-loved yet eccentric composer of piano miniatures. He was born on May 17th 1866 in Honfleur, Normandy. He was the son of a French father and a British mother. Satie’s example guided a new generation of French composers away from post-Wagnerian impressionism towards a sparer, terser style.
Satie‘s love of repetition in melody and chordal changes helped to shape the foundation of the New York School (Cage, Feldman, Wolff, etc.) and West Coast minimalism (Terry Riley, Steve Reich). Here are Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Erik Satie.
1) Erik was a Bad Music Student
Although unimaginable, Satie was a terrible student at the famed Conservatoire. He was even expelled at point during his studies. He managed to graduate in 1885. Most of Erik’s teachers described him as lazy, easily bored, lacking motivation and never seeming to improve. Even a tiny beat.
It’s ironic that today his piano compositions are so highly regarded. Satie strongly disliked the Conservatoire, which he described as “a vast, very uncomfortable, and rather ugly building; a sort of district prison with no beauty on the inside – nor on the outside, for that matter”. . from the article: Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Erik Satie