A Mammal's Notebook: Collected Writings of Erik Satie

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Atlas Press, 1996 - Music - 206 pages
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This is the largest selection (in any language) of Erik Satie's writings yet to appear, and includes previously unpublished texts, drawings and photographs.
Dismissed as a bizarre eccentric by many, Erik Satie has come to be seen as a key influence on twentieth century music. His compositions include, among other pieces, the ubiquitous Gymnopedies, the 3 Pieces in the Form of a Pear, and the Dada opera Relache. In later life he gathered round him Les Six and the cream of the new generation of French composers. His influence has continued to widen; John Cage and the New York School composers hailed him as "indispensable," and more recently certain of his pieces have been seen as prefiguring both Minimalist and Ambient music.
His poignant, sly and witty writings embody all his contradictions. Included here are his "autobiographical" Memoirs of an Amnesic, and wryly comic musical commentaries; the gnomic annotations to his musical scores ("For the SHRIVELLED and the DIMWITS, I have written a suitably ponderous chorale ... a kind of austere, unfrivolous introduction ... I dedicate this chorale to those who do not like me."); the publications of his private church; his absurdist play Medusa's Snare; advertising copy for his local suburban newspaper, and the mysterious, elaborately calligraphed, "private advertisements" found stuffed behind his piano after his death.

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A mammal's notebook: collected writings of Erik Satie

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Fifth and last in Atlas's "Archive Documents of the Avant-garde," this is the first about a composer, though it emphasizes Satie's prose writings and pen-and-ink drawings. Musical examples are ... Read full review

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Satie was, of course, a meticulous calligrapher & is reknowned for the wry humor that he exercised both in his music & in the notes written on his scores. This bk collects such writings as well as ... Read full review

Contents

Talks
10
WRITTEN FOR PERFORMANCE
15
Texts to be Danced
51
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

At the age of 13, Erik Satie went to Paris, where he attended the Paris Conservatory. He soon, however, relinquished his formal and systematic study of music. Early in his career, he played in cabarets in Montmartre. In 1892 he began to produce short piano pieces with eccentric titles, intended to ridicule proponents of both modern and classical music. He was 40 years old when he decided to learn about the techniques of composition. Although he was dismissed as a serious musician by his contemporaries, Satie greatly influenced French musicians of a younger generation. He became well known as an innovator in the modern idiom after his death.

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