"A wonderful gem! This incredibly well put together album is a triumph start to finish."
Daniel Bristow - Cluas.com
"To be interested in Satie one must be disinterested to begin with, accept that a sound is a sound and a man is a man, give up illusions about ideas of order, expressions of sentiment, and all the rest of our inherited aesthetic claptrap. It is not a question of Satie's relevance. He's indispensable."
Alfred Eric Leslie Satie was born on May 17th 1866 at Honfleur(France. He began his musical studies as an organist at the Paris Conservatory with Lavignac. In 1888 he composed three Gymnopédies, inspired by a poetry reading by his friend J. P. Contamine de Latour. The hypnotic allure of these compositions had its roots from in dances performed by youths during an ancient ritual celebration.
The next year, seduced by the Romanian popular music and Indonesian Gamelan he had heard at the Great Exhibition in Paris, he started working on Gnossiennes. In 1891 he met Debussy who became his friend until 1916 when a misunderstanding led to a break-up that would never be reconciled.
That same year he met Sar Jospehin Peladin, Grand Maestro of the Aesthetic Order of the Catholic Rosae Crucis of the Temple of the Grail. Satie became his follower and was made Master of the Chapel. His compatriot and friend, the humorist Alphonse Allais, then gave him the nickname Esotérik Satie. Among the several works he composed under the guidance of Sar Pedalan were Trois Préludes du "Fils des étoiles", le Sonneries de la Rose-Croix. In 1893, he composed the Danses gothiques.
In these first works Satie was already using a freehand style with no bar lines, arranged chromatically around complex chord structures. In the score he would replace conventional directions such as "allegro", "piano con brio"... with his own invented terminology - "from the top of your back teeth", "do your best"... In 1896 he took up residence on the outskirts of Paris in a modest house with huge rooms - "I have many ideas to accommodate," - where he composed Pièces froides.
He gave up all esoteric research and in 1900 began collaborating with the music-hall diva Paulette Darty. It was in this period that Satie immersed himself in café-concert and popular music. In 1905, tired of being considered little more than an amateur, and at odds with the musical academia, he enrolled for three years at the Schola Cantorum, where he studied counterpoint with Albert Roussel. In 1910 his music attracted the attention of Diaghilev, Picasso, Picabia, Ravel, Stravinsky and finally Cocteau with whom he became co-founder of the Les Six group.
Fame, however, came with two important productions. In 1917 with Parade by Jean Cocteau and Picasso for the Russian Ballet. In 1924 the second ballet, Relache, with text and staging by Picabia, and the celebrated intermission film by René Clair (Entracte), opened in Paris to an uproar. Satie died as he had lived, poor but illustrious, surrounded by admirers, at the Saint-Joseph hospital on July 17th 1925.
Alessandra Celletti was born in Rome, June 6th 1966. After graduating from the Santa Cecilia conservatory in Rome, she completed a specialisation course with the Maestro Vera Gobbi Belcredi. Alongside live performances she has written compositions for electronic music, contributing to multimedia projects. Since 1998 she has collaborated with KHA Records, recording three albums dedicated to the music of Gurdjieff and De Hartmann (Hidden Sources - 1998), Erik Satie (Esotérik Satie - 2000) and Scott Joplin (Black Baby - 2002)
KHA Records is an Italian independent company based in Rome since 1998 with the aim of building up a quality catalogue and paying special attention to contemporary repertoire and performances.