Why Was Satie Right? (II)


2. Creed

– une inspiration transcendantal de Terry Riley –

“Pour se jouer 840 fois de suite ce motif, il sera bon de se préparer au préalable, et dans le plus grand silence, par des immobilités sérieuses.”

Escaping the academy without looking back and forming the headquarters of independence in his small room in Montmartre, Eric concentrates on his musical pursuits among contradictory painters, writers and musicians, who set out from symbolism and pursue new techniques and expressions in the Le Chat Noir cabaret. For Eric, from the early stages of his composition, art/music was not an intellectual pursuit, but an inseparable part of his life. He lives as he thinks, thinks as he lives. Now it's Erik. He takes on his first persona as a bohemian, with long hair, a redcoat and a fedora.

Sent to Honfleur with his brother Conrad after his mother died, little Eric must have begun his musical education with Gregorian hymns under the gothic architecture of the Saint-Leonard church, and must have sensed that the medieval mystical hymns would guide him throughout his life, into which he plunged under the gothic dome in the pure flow of childhood. As a matter of fact, the boy Eric gave his hand to the twenty-year-old Erik, the first piano set. ogives With bold steps, he opened the door to his mastery of melody in the neo-Gregorian style. First piano piece ogives One of the most important concepts that he started with and that he would deal with until the end of his composing life was time. Sounds are imaginary for Erik, he wanted to open up their own pure existence to the sounds by removing the lines of measure and creating indifference to the cadences of tonality, almost like the oscillation of images in space. He wrote the wordless bohemian-secular-mystical hymn at intervals of pure consonance, reminiscent of the liturgy in the rudimentary states of Christianity, avoiding the tritons as if avoiding the demons of the academy's music dealers who pursued him.

The effects of the writings of Gustave Flaubert and Joséphin Sâr Péladan, which he used to use the military he hates as a method of escaping from the academy, and which he immersed in intense reading during his long convalescence while allowing the destruction of his body as a method of escaping from the military as a method of escape, the influences of the writings of Erik waiting to be revealed in his first compositions in the Montmartre period. was kept hidden in a room of his mind as his sources. As fate would have it, Erik, who was looking for his voice as a bohemian pianist in the Le Chat Noir cabaret, met Péladan when he was in his 20s. In a short time, Erik was appointed principal pianist of the Salon de la Rose-Croix, Péladan's esoteric art cult, following the mysticism that was an integral part of his existence. Today, the cultural industry has detached Erik from his identity-from his other works-from his approach to society/art and music-opposite stance, making him part of a meaningless popularity and confining him to only two piano sets (more often to his misinterpretations). Trois Gymnopedies ve GnossiennesWritten in the Rose-Croix era.

The stage when the composer designed Rose-Croix compositions in his small room in Montmartre in the 1890s can be called the mystical period. Erik, who was autodidactic in his composition, spent most of his time in this period, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the French National Library.[1] spent examining. Desiring to use medieval music in his search for original style in the creation of a new musical language, Erik was inspired by Eugène's architectural approach and was greatly influenced by the original gothic restorations of the dissident architect. During his mystical period, when he deepened his interest in gothic art, Erik pursued the development of a new language of his own, as simple as possible with limited material, in which he questions tonality and deals with the concept of time/duration in music. Thanks to his chief pianist role as the musical spokesman for Péladan and Rose-Croix, he had the opportunity to present his freely written experimental works to the public for the first time during this period. Péladan in 1891. Le Fils des étoiles (Son of the StarsHis accidental piece of the same name, which he wrote to accompany his poetic drama ) is one of the most important works of the Rose-Croix period, as well as one of the composer's most radical works. Erik invented the concept of "static soundscape" with his discovery of quartal harmonic in music writing, which proceeds in an accidental course independent of the dramatic actions on the stage.[2] Le Fils des étoiles The harmonic and stylistic innovations in his work, Erik's works that created a sensation in the future and became the precursors to all the artistic innovations of the 20th century. Musique d'Ameublement, Parade ve relaxIt appears to be the archetype of .

In Péladan's esoteric community, Erik agreed to get out of his solitude in the name of a common mystical path, to pursue new artistic forms and to create spaces where these experimental works would be performed, by moving away from the romantic French myth, after a short while the truths within Péladan and the community became clear. The classical understanding of art/academia/the detached state of the music market from the reality of the society and the conditions of "ordinary" people, the myth of the "superior" artist, egocentrism and hierarchy beginning to feel, albeit implicitly, in the Rose-Croix ensemble like the sword of Damocles hanging on top. It bothered Erik, he understood the "insincerity" in the mystical path and beliefs of the community. It must have been a deep disappointment, of course. But Erik (for those who can understand) has never been one to walk away quietly. From this period, he combined parody with seriousness and started to make it an integral part of his style until the end of his life. As he leaves Rose-Croix and returns to his solitude in his small room with firm steps, Erik takes off his redcoat and puts on his monk's robe. He has nothing to lose, he creates a new persona for himself. A modern goliard that satirizes the corruption of academia and the art market[3] it tends to be.

The place and melodies/gothic architecture and gregorian hymns where the boy Erik first touched his life are the cornerstones of the mysticism that will be an integral part of the composer's mystical period and life. He tends to adapt the simple musical style of the pure expression of the early Christianity, which offers the torch of hope to the majority living in the "other" state without any value in corrupt Rome, into a modern and original language. In the rapidly industrializing and degenerating France of the 20th century, Erik must have felt close to the secular monks of the Middle Ages who abandoned the corrupt religion of the Middle Ages. It best reflects his approach in the mystical period. Messe des pauvres (Rite for the poor) proudly announced the imaginary church of art, which he named “L'Église Métropolitaine d'Art de Jésus Conducteur”, declaring himself as High Priest, choirmaster and sole member, referring to the monastery, in his small room at 6 Rue Cortot, at the time of writing his work.[4]

Erik turned the ostensible Rose-Croix beliefs into reality in the one-man imaginary church of art he founded, making the transformation of society through art his primary goal, writing harsh letters to journalists with the intention of "excommunicating" the critics, and turning himself into a parody of the flamboyant Péladan (perhaps Péladan's). translated it into a candid version of his discourses).

During this period, when he was in close contact with avant-garde painters, Erik was a pianist at the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes. which he described as "praying for the salvation of my soul" Rite for the PoorWe can see that the tendency to take a class stance in artistic discourse started spontaneously from its early stages. In the same year, “Novena for the calming and deep peace of my soul.[5] nine-piece, which he described as Danses Gothiques wrote his work.

After Erik's death, he remained in his flat where no one was allowed in for many years, and whose position is still uncertain in the written musical tradition today. Vexations (1893/1894) is a utopian work based on 8 repetitions of an 840-bar motif devoted to boredom. It is said that he wrote the first example of Minimalism, the most important music movement of the 20th century, which emerged approximately sixty years after the writing of the work, in the most radical way possible, with a miraculous avant-garde approach. VexationsHe hid it from everyone. Robert Orledge, who has important work on Satie research, Vexations while describing his work; He stated that with a monk's meditative approach towards silence, it was a "first experiment" that investigated the effects of states such as boredom and hallucinations - both for the artist and the audience - on performance indicators. [6]

Written without a theme, lacking a clear melodic line, chromatic and out of tune VexationsAt the same time, the utopian structure of Istanbul, which questions the performance practices, is the first example of the most important practices and discussion areas of 20th century art, such as happening and body performance, which will be put forward about half a century later. At the same time, we can see in all of Erik's works, but VexationsThe fact that he created the anti-music fiction, which he brought to the most avant-garde level, in such an early period, reveals in a fascinating way that his composition was not linear but cyclical, and that his final point was actually the point where he set off. It is a rebellion against the endless harmonic tensions based on the Wagnerian influences that dominate French music, agitation, the authority in the music production canon of gigantic works based on tragic stories, and the catharsis fiction presented in these works to the music receiver, whose concepts such as mysticism, parody, irony, and satire, which are inseparable features of Erik's existence, dominate French music. can also be heard Vexations.

Erik transformed the performer, who had the courage to perform the 8-measure motif, which he wrote with the meticulousness of making it impossible to memorize, even though it was repeated many times, into a monk or body performer, who took out the performance patterns of written music and struggled with his mind along with the sounds (perhaps he should stop fighting). Erik, the only member of the art church, who, with a mystical irony, took on the heavy and serious task of transforming the society with sounds, with his contemporary/original musical creations and his own existence in his small room, which he called a monastery, VexationsHow much he was lost in it is unknown. Vexations remained silent until 1963, when it was first performed by ten pianists with John Cage.


"                                           They were not intellectualized. ear them

directly, without the need for any abstraction

could hear. I realized I like noises, intervals

even more. I liked noises as much as single sounds.

                                                                                                                                       Against the noise

discrimination was practiced…”

                                                             J. Cage – Talking About Nothing[7]

[1] Eugène Viollet-le-Duc: Versatile neo-gothic architect (1814-1879), who was also interested in other arts.

[2] Grove Music Dictionary. (2001). Satie, Erik. Grove Music Online, 313. (R. Orledge, Ed.) Oxford Uni. press.

[3] Goliard: Medieval poets who abandoned the priesthood. They sang satirical obscene songs that heavily satirized society and shook the masculine pressure of religion.

[4] Whiting, SM (1999). Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall (1 b.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[5] An ancient devotional tradition in Christianity.

[6] Orledge, R. (1998). Understanding Satie's 'Vexations'. Music & Letters, Vol. 79(No. 3), p. 386.

[7] Selected Articles by John Cage, 2011, p.119. (S. Fırıncıoğlu, Trans.) Istanbul: Pan Publications.


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