May.. To celebrate the month of Satie

The music of Erik Satie has been many things to me- for many people as well. Of course, like most folks, I started with hearing ” gymnopedie”… I associated it with the closing scene of “my dinner with Andre”. a great connection of timelessness.
It is entirely ironic that this piece, his first major one, is extremely popular ( for classical music) while much of his other work has been ignored.
( a familiar curse)
What Satie has taught me:
• the power of absurdity and juxtaposition.
•the power of repetition ( “Parade” theme)- While the Germanic tradition excelled at developing a motif carefully, making systematic variations, Satie would often run an idea into the ground- throw in another, and then run the same idea aground again… and again…
•The power of collaborating with painters, visual artists, dancers,
• the power of being utterly insane about your music.
•the power of going back to school to study in your 40’s, and starting over with your aesthetic.
• the power of being somewhat out of step with whatever is popular.
Erik Satie, from the accounts I have read about you, you were a lot like my old aquantance the late Franz Kamin. Curmudgeonly, single, wrestling with constant poverty and being misunderstood, and being entirely committed to an artistic vision. You were wild, dressed in grey, and probably stinky.
I cannot afford to live in poverty, as I have a family and a yard and dog to maintain.
I am both French and German, and ( as i found out in later years) part Irish. and what does that mean? I am a galoot made of wood.
I am a dessicated embryo. And your birthday, Monsieur Satie, is either the 17 or 18. I aM WORKING those days. So I will dedicate my next show at the Black Dog
to your memory…
you became famous at ” le chat noire”-
I will become obscure at ” le chein noire” ( black dog)
I will honor, transpose, steal and riff upon you, this Friday. Do not get me from your grave.
Todd

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