Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No.1

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Alfred Eric Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 — Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Starting with his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as Erik Satie.

Satie was introduced as a “gymnopedist” in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a “phonometrograph” or “phonometrician” (meaning “someone who measures (and writes down) sounds”) preferring this designation to that of “musician,” after having been called “a clumsy but subtle technician” in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.

Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music and the Theatre of the Absurd.
The Gymnopédies, published in Paris starting in 1888, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist, Erik Satie.

These short, atmospheric pieces are written in 3/4 time, with each sharing a common theme and structure. Collectively, the Gymnopedies are regarded as the precursors to modern ambient music[citation needed] – gentle yet somewhat eccentric pieces which, when composed, defied the classical tradition. For instance, the first few bars feature a disjunct chordal theme in the bass – first, a G-major 7th in the bass, and then a B-minor chord, also in the lower register. Then comes the one-note theme in D major. Although the collection of chords at first seems too complex to be harmonious, the melody soon imbues the work with a soothing atmospheric quality.

Satie himself used the term “furniture music” to refer to some of his pieces, implying they could be used as mood-setting background music. However, Satie used this term to refer to only some of his later, 20th century compositions, without specific reference to the Gymnopédies as background music. From the second half of the 20th century on, the Gymnopédies were often erroneously described as part of Satie’s body of furniture music, perhaps due to John Cage’s interpretation of them.
[from Wikipedia]

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46 COMMENTS

  1. i smile at u
    u smile back
    that was the day i met my best friend
    i love him
    i loved him…
    ive loved him from the start
    i wanted to be with him forever

    he has a girlfriend now
    shes kinda protective and doesnt let me touch him or talk to him as much as i did
    i dont think he minds
    he loves her more
    and thats ok
    hes happy, hes found love but…
    dont forget me okay?

  2. My best friend left me to rot in hell for 2 years due to his parents divorcing and his mom not paying their old house’s mortgage. He turned into a person that turned my heart black and stone. I still like him, but I’ll never be the same. This song perfectly describes it.

  3. I had a nokia n70 before and it has this song as a ringtone, I always keep it playing while I'm alone in my room, lights off, and with open windows. Good old days but with a touch of sadness.

  4. When i was small i had a Radio Play that played this song between the chapters. This song followed me ever since. I can't explain why, but this song will be forever imprinted in my soul.

  5. I fill about this song like it represents the beginning, and the end of your life but in a gentle way making you feel fulfilled and with peace of mind .That if you know you're going to die you know it's okay because you accept it.

  6. Can some one tell me what the painting means I will be very greatfull and if you don't know its ok have a nice day everyone

  7. I’m gonna do it. Imma stop being miserable and win this girl back. I love her so much and I know that we can be something special again

  8. This helps me with Nofap. Whenever I have urges I immediately play this song light up a cigarette and the rest is history. I’m just trying to be a better person

  9. Alright, so we’re checking out the only song that can make you feel both existential dread and inner peace, it’s Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1

  10. This song always makes me realise how unsatisfied I am with my life and how depressed I am, no matter what I do or how long I've been here.

  11. for me it feels like the terrifying realization that all is nothing and nothing is all. the idea that we'll never know everything and so we know nothing. feels like maybe just beginning to cope with that fact to maybe live life in a more full and beautiful way. focus on what's important everyone.

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