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Erik Satie (1866 – 1925)

Related: ambient music - experimental music - avant-garde music - art music - classical music - French music

The word Surrealism was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire to describe Cocteau's 1917 collaboration with Erik Satie, Pablo Picasso, and Léonide Massine Parade. [Apr 2006]

Although Brian Eno is considered the father of ambient music, he is also quick to reference the works and influence of Erik Satie. [Apr 2006]

Erik Satie was one of the favourite composers of John Cage. [Apr 2006]

There exists strong circumstantial evidence that Erik Satie was asexual. [Apr 2006]


Eric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist.

Satie as precursor: the only "precursor" discussion Satie was involved in during his lifetime was whether or not he was a precursor of Claude Debussy, but many would follow. Over the years Satie would be described as a precursor of movements and styles as varied as impressionism, neo-classicism, Dadaism, surrealism, atonalism, minimalism, conceptual art, the Theatre of the Absurd, muzak, ambient music, multimedia art, etc., and as taking the first steps towards techniques such as prepared piano and music-to-film synchronisation. Further, he was also to perform the first ever cameo appearance in a film. All by himself he appears to have been the avant-garde to half of the avant-garde movements of the 20th century. Many of these "precursorisms" are possibly based on quite superficial resemblances only, while, on the other hand, he undeniably inspired and influenced many later artists, and their ideas.

According to Milhaud, Satie had prophesied the major movements in classical music to appear over the next fifty years within his own body of work. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Satie#.22Petit_dictionnaire_d.27id.E9es_re.E7ues.22_.28short_dictionary_of_preconceived_ideas.29 [Apr 2005]

Furniture music

Furniture music was an invention of Erik Satie around 1920. This type of "background music" fell in oblivition when the composer died a few years later, and was not again executed till it was rediscovered several decades later. Typical for Furniture music are short musical passages, with an indefinite number of repeats. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_music#Furniture_music [Apr 2006]

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