Paper $27.00 ISBN: 9781861893215 Published June 2007 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Erik Satie

Mary E. Davis

Erik Satie

Mary E. Davis

Distributed for Reaktion Books

175 pages | 30 halftones | 5 x 7 7/8 | © 2007
Paper $27.00 ISBN: 9781861893215 Published June 2007 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $27.00 ISBN: 9781861896025 Published June 2007

A composer who dabbled in the Dada movement, a Bohemian “gymnopédiste” of fin-de-siècle Montmartre, and a legendary dresser known as “The Velvet Gentleman,” Erik Satie cut a unique figure among early twentieth-century European composers. Yet his legacy has largely languished in the shadows of Stravinsky, Debussy, and Ravel. Mary E. Davis now brings Satie to life in this fascinating new biography.

Satie redefined the composer’s art, devising new methods of artistic expression that melded ordinary and rarified elements of words, visual art, and music. Davis argues that Satie’s modernist aesthetic was grounded in the contradictions of his life—such as enrolling in the conservative Schola Cantorum after working as a cabaret performer—and is reflected in his irreverent essays, drawn art, and music.  Erik Satie explores how the composer was embraced by avant-garde artists and fashionable Parisian elite, and how his experiences inspired him to create the musical style of Neoclassicism. Satie also employed the power of the image through his infamous fashion statements, Davis contends, and became part of a nascent celebrity culture.

A cogent and informative portrait, Erik Satie upends the accepted history of modernist music and restores the composer to his rightful pioneering status.

  1  Honfleur
  2  Student, Soldier, Gymnopédiste
  3  Parcier
  4  Velvet Gentleman
  5  Scholiste
  6  Bourgeois Radical
  7  Ballets Russes
  8  En ’Smoking’
  9  Dadaist
      Select Discography
      Photo Acknowledgements
Review Quotes
Julian Haylock | Classic FM
"A welcome reassessment of Satie that places him at the hub of radical events."
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