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Erik SATIE
17 May 1866 - 1 July 1925 (age 59)

Erik Satie, often called 'the father of modern music', was an eccentric French composer, pianist and writer. His works have flavours of Impressionism, Surrealism and Dadaism. He influenced Debussy and Ravel.

Family

Works

Career

Quotes

Links

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portrait of Erik Satie

Family

Born: Alfred Eric Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866)
Father: Alfred, a ship broker and  translator
Mother: Jane Lesie Anton, born in London of Scottish parents, died when Erik was 6.
Siblings: younger brother Conrad.
Partners: 6 month affair with Suzanne Valadon, acrobat, artist and model and mother of Maurice Utrillo. He was devastated on break up and apparently never had another intimate relationship.
Children: none
Died: Paris, 1 July 1925
Cause of death: Cirrhosis of the liver
Grave: Cimetiere d'Arcueil, Arcueil, France (see findagrave)


Erik on Amazon
Books and CD's on Amazon.com (US)


Works

He worked as a music-hall pianist, 1890s
Composed 84 musical works between 1885 and 1924 including:
Orchestral
Le Belle Excentrique
Cinq Grimaces
En Habit de Cheval
Chamber Music
Musique d'ameublement
Ballet
Mercure
Parade
Relache
Stage works
Le piege de Meduse
Genevieve de Brabant
Choral
Messe des Pauvres
Piano
Gymnopedies (3)
Gnossiennes (6)
Ogives
Next-to-last thoughts
I Want You
Gold Dust
Cold Pieces
Truly Flabby Pieces for a Dog
3 dried-up embryos
Old Sequins and Armour
Childish Chatter
Tiresome Peccadilloes
Vexation
Writings
He also produced a considerable amount of writings, mostly articles for magazines, including Vanity Fair.



self portrait by Erik Satie

Career

- Early Years: Showed musical talent
- Age 13 - 16: Attended the Paris Conservatory but was eventually sent down as 'a very insignificant student'.
- Age 20: Joined the army but was soon discharged with bronchitis which he had deliberately induced.
- In his 20s: He worked as a pianist and songwriter in various Montmartre cafes. He was a great friend of Debussy.
- Age 25 - 29: Joined the Rosicrusianism religious sect for which he composed music.
- Age 39 - 42: studied counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum.
- Age 45: 'Discovered' by Ravel and his followers who organised concertsof his work.
- Age 50: Premiere of his ballet "Parade" which had been commissioned by Diaghilev. The libretto was by Cocteau and the set and costume designs by Picasso. It created a scandal and brought him fame.
- Last years: He, with Cocteau, was mentor to a group of young composers known as the 'Groupe des six' which included Poulenc and Milhaud.
- Age 59: He dies of cirrhosis of the liver caused by a lifetime of heavy dinking.


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♫ Gymnopédie No.1 [piano] ♫ 


Gnossienne No1 - Coldplay


Parade - The Griffyn Ensemble


Je te veuz (I want you) sung by Jessie Norman


Eric Satie monogram

Quotes

- “Before I compose a piece, I walk around it several times, accompanied by myself.”

- “When I was young, I was told: 'You'll see, when you're fifty. I am fifty and I haven't seen a thing.”

- “Why attack God? He may be as miserable as we are”

- “The musician is perhaps the most modest of animals, but he is also the proudest. It is he who invented the sublime art of ruining poetry.”


Links - and where to go for more information 

Answers.comvarious reference sites including wikipedia

mfiles.co.uk a brief profile

Michael Furstner's tribute
www.jazclass.aust.com/satie.htm#00b

Satie on Ubuweb includes several sound samples

Last.fm

www.last.fm/music/Erik+Satie

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