Eric Alfred Leslie Satie was born in Honfleur, France on May 17, 1866. He studied at the Paris Conservatory but dropped out and later worked as a café pianist. He moved to Arcueil, a suburb of Paris in 1898, and lived in seclusion. In 1905 he began studying at the Schola Cantorum under Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel, continuing for three years. The group Les Six, adopted him as their patron saint in 1917, and later the School of Arcueil was formed in his honor. He passed away on July 1, 1925 in Paris. Satie’s music represents the first definite break with the traditions of 19th century French Romanticism. It bears similarities with Dada and Surrealism in its disregard for traditional forms and structures, its flippant titles, Such as Troix morceaux en form de poire (1903; Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear), and its directions to players, such as “with much illness”. Satie strove to remove the pretentiousness and sentimentality from music in order to reveal an austere essence.
Erik Satie is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer