Wednesday, April 05, 2006
In Praise of Erik Satie
His piece Vexations comprises 840 repetitions of its two-minute motif.
He pioneered ‘furniture music’, which the audience was meant to ignore (but didn't, listening intently, much to Satie's annoyance), and composed a suite of humorous piano pieces titled Embryons desséchés (‘Dried-up Embryos’).
Among the instructions to players of his Gnossiennes are Postulez en vous-même, Avec étonnement, De manière à obtenir un creux, and Ouvrez la tête.
When Satie’s friends entered his room in Arcueil after his death, it was the first time in the twenty-seven years since he moved there that anyone other than the composer had been inside. Among the effects they discovered were enormous quantities of umbrellas and seven velvet suits.
For a short sequence from René Clair’s film Entr’acte showing Satie and Francis Picabia firing a cannon, follow this link.