Learning satie by EAR

I have always been drawn to Erik Satie: He speaks to the lyrical, the random & whimsical in me like no one else. Sadly, it seems that no one gets past his famous Gymnopedie. ( like no one gets past Thelonius Monk’s ‘Round Midnight, etc…) So much lies beyond that.

One of Erik Satie’s later work that gets me is section of “Relache” called ‘Cinema’. It is absurd, made up of many seemingly discordant themes, all mashed together. Tying it together is an annoyingly simple motif, which pops up fairly incessantly, after numerous wanderings of fragmented motifs. I have listened to the orchestral version exclusively until today.

I came across a piano reduction of that piece . WOW! Rather than deciding to look for the sheet music , ( my reading is slower than my ear!) I sat down on the piano, and picked out parts ! Of course this is ass-backwards from how ‘classical’ pianists do it. I am going to do keep up this process, and learn the thing. I know the peice well enough: I can make my own transcription.

Afton State Park… late August

There is a short piano piece I started on ” Idyll…” based on a repeating ostinato , which is very groovy and space- inducing. (Also was entranced by a rare sparse work by Alan Hovhaness, ” Sonata Fred the cat”.)

This is exciting ! I have a bunch of things to learn? transcribe: ” la Beouf suit la toit” of Darius Milhaud. .. and of of course, Satie’s ” Gnossinnes & Sarabandes”.

My biggest complaint of so many recordings is that the piano jocks play them too damn fast !!! Ulrich Gumpert does not. There is an incredible nato recording where he takes this, really slow and timeless. But that’s another thing.

Sometime this spring

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