Satie – Composer of May

Erik Satie was one of the representatives of the French Avant-garde and a composer which got our attention. His special character and peculiarities made him one of the most influencial artists of the late 19th Century in Paris. An eccentric, Satie can be considered one of the builders of the bridge towards modernism.

To have an idea of how wonderfully strange Satie’s personality was, we give you here some examples of the remarks he writes in the score: ouvre la tete (open your head), munissez-vous de clairvoyance (arm yourself with perspicacity).

Erik Satie is also the main character of one of our projects, Stories from Le Chat Noir. We have decided to develop this project after reading the journal of Erik Satie. It is so wonderfully written and full of funny and misterious anecdotes and thoughts of the French composer.

One beautiful example concerns the daily life of Satie, excerpt taken from Erik Satie – Memoirs of an Amnesiac:

An artist must organize his life. I wake up at 7:18; am inspired from 10:23 to 11:47. I have 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 4:07 pm. From 4:27 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 8:09 to 9:59 pm symphonic readings (out loud). I go to bed regularly at 10:37 pm. Once a week, I wake up with a start at 3:19 (Tuesdays).

Erik Satie – Trois Gnossiennes

The Trois Gnossiennes were published in 1890. Long after Satie’s death, in 1968, another series of three Gnossiennes was published. These three pieces do not correspond chronologically to the other ones and it is extremely unlikely that Satie saw them as part of a single cycle.

It is believed that the title of Trois Gnossiennes comes from the greek term gnosis (knowledge) or from the cretan Knossos, theory which links the composition to the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur.

His Gnossiennes are definitely special, like they are taking you immediately into another dimension – it is sometimes dreamy, sometimes melancholic, sometimes absolutely still.

On our CD – Debut we recorded the Trois Gnossiennes. The piece was not written for flute and guitar, but following the piano score we made our arrangement of the composition. Enjoy!