Acrylic on Canvas - 25 x 20
For Trois Gymnopedies by Composer Erik Satie
Created from the titled work
By Erik Satie
“A comic genius “ who created a lilting beauty of sound found in the rarest realm of imagination,” Erik Satie has been referred to as a composer of ZEN.
Whether his compositions are described as ZEN like music, bizarre music, mocking music, genius music, the most beautiful music or purist music, he is remembered as the most tragic composer to have ever lived.
Satie’s Portrait by Suzanne Valadon
Satie declared himself to be a “Gymnopediste” and NOT a composer.
Many think that he chose his name from a poem by Latour, which mentions 'gymnopedia' - describing them as naked Spartan dancing girls2. He relished this confusion that his self named title caused, and used it as the title for three piano pieces for this reason. The work of art is created as an imaginary accompaniment to the graceful dances of gymnasts invited to perform at Ancient Greek Festivals held on barges at sea.
Born 1866 in Honfleur, France, known as the most eccentric composer, Trois Gymnopedies gained wide popularity as they are found in film music and said to have the effect as vitamin supplements to health therapy and emotional therapy.
Satie gave his works odd titles such as Chilled Pieces, Drivelling Preludes (for a Dog), Dried up Embryos ... He also added many strange instructions to the performer citing “Failure to obey to my instruction will provoke my just indignation against anyone so presumptuous. No exception to this rule will be granted.”
Painter and model Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) had an intense affair known to be Satie's only love affair. Valadon believed that "painting was the most difficult [medium] in which to reach greatness" and worked for thirteen years on her oils before she showed them. The affair began on January 14, 1893, and Satie proposed marriage that same night.
Valadon did Satie's portrait and gave it to him, while the musician did hers, which he kept.
The two works hung together and were found after Satie's death in his room at Arceuil.
Satie, called "The Father of Modern Music”, was a complete eccentric and penniless bohemian who wore an odd black top hat, carried an umbrella always, mocking titles and pinning bizarre notes to his music.
The information here is taken from chapter 11 of Thérèse Diamand Rosinsky's book Suzanne Valadon, 1994, © Universe Publishing, New York.
He remained a father-figure of the avant-garde until his death.
Exhibitional news from Archives Erik Satie, Paris: http://www.af.lu.se/~fogwall/ornella.html