Satie, Erik – Gymnopedie No. 1
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French composer Erik Satie was born on May 17th, 1866. He's known worldwide as one of the most influential composers of the early 20th century.
Satie began studying piano as a child. Later in life, he attended the Conservatory of Music in Paris. The school was home to composers such as Gabriel Faure and George Bizet.
He never completed his studies. He once wrote he had little interest in improving his ability as a pianist, and his teachers said his talent was in composing.
His work influenced his contemporaries such as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and “Les Six”. “Les Six” were young french composers who Satie mentored and all went on to find success.
Satie wrote compositions in a few different styles. His Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes are well-known piano pieces. He wrote for ballets, salon music, and religious events. Satie collaborated with Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso, both notable artists at the time. Their ballet Parade marked a special moment in Satie’s career.
One of Satie’s musical ideas included what he called “Furniture Music”. This is music written to be in the background, and not the center of attention. American composer John Cage found inspiration in this style for his Avante-Garde work.
Erik Satie wrote music that has a magical way of evoking feelings and emotions from listeners. A unique quality for any composer. Even today, exploring his music is sure to transport us to a land where anything is possible.
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