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.
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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.
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)
He worked as a music-hall pianist, 1890s
Composed 84 musical works between 1885 and 1924 including:
Le Belle Excentrique
En Habit de Cheval
Le piege de Meduse
Genevieve de Brabant
Messe des Pauvres
I Want You
Truly Flabby Pieces for a Dog
3 dried-up embryos
Old Sequins and Armour
He also produced a considerable amount of writings, mostly articles for magazines, including Vanity Fair.
- 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
- 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.
Satie-archives.com A Great Erik Satie site
Answers.comvarious reference sites including wikipedia
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