Intrepid Optimist is the place where I can share my stories; fact, fiction and thoughts from the past and present. It’s Written by myself for people who believe adventure knows no age
Whatever Monday blues feeling I may have been anticipating has just been banished by listening to the sublime melody of Erik Satie’s composition, Gymnopédie No.1, with grateful thanks to YouTube.
Erik Satie (May 17, 1886 – July 1, 1925) who is regarded as one of the architects of modern music belonged to the late nineteenth, early twentieth-century Parisian world. Personally, it is one of those periods in history, given the chance, I would love to have lived during. The other epoch being the early fifteenth century and to have been present at the Battle of Agincourt, which I admit must seem a little contradictory.
If I had been in the Paris of those times I would certainly have been a regular patron at the theatres, cafes and the auberges frequented by Cocteau, Debussy, Ravel, Gauguin, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Apollinaire, and Picasso frequented.
The Moulin Rouge and the Chat Noir nightclub are probably the most renowned. For a time Satie was a pianist in the latter but he also played in the celebrated Auberge du Clou and Le Lapin Agile. Later, after a falling out with the owner of Chat Noir he became the resident pianist in Cafe de la Nouvelle Athènes. In the meantime he composed.
A dedicated musician, to the end of his life he gave himself exercises in harmony and counterpoint. Publicly he could be eccentric, at times having in his jacket pocket a lighted pipe with its long stem reaching as high as his chin. He would specifically order his favourite cognac from the bottom portion of the graduated bottle, claiming that the measure was larger.
The three Gymnopédies took him two months to compose and were completed in April 1988. They were the first compositions with which Satie attempted to sever himself from the salon music of the 19th century. It is thought that the work was based on Les Antiques, a poem by Patrice Contamine de Latour (17 March 1867 – 24 May 1926), who Satie knew personally:
Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream
Trickled in gusts of gold on the shiny flagstones
Where amber atoms in the fire gleaming
Mingled their sarabande with the gymnopaedia
Before your Monday draws to a close, accept my suggestion and relax, Put your feet up, pour yourself a glass of your favourite tipple, regardless of the shape of the bottle it is in. Turn on YouTube and for a moment go to heaven, listening and appreciating Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1. Monday will never be the same again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-Xm7s9eGxU
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