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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Clouds On The Horizon

Today is very challenging.

I’ve listened to this piece of music for thirty years or so. It has a very calming effect on me. I like the pictures that this mashup has assembled to accompany the music. The music is elegant and simple, sorta; but then again sophisticated doesn’t really mean “busy,” does it?

Satie was a interesting weirdo. He didn’t even want to be called a musician. He called himself a “phonometrician.” I liked that he called some of his later musical sketches “furniture music.” (d’ameublement) The term really doesn’t translate well. In French, furniture is called meubles –the movables. I think the term furniture music is more to mean furnishings, or wallpaper. The setting for other things. Perhaps he is the world’s first composer of movie scores. He’d have to be first. They didn’t have movies then as anything but a sort of laboratory oddity.

Erik Satie. Gymnopedie Number 1.

The music has a strange resonance. It was written before WWI, and it reminds me of being out of doors on a pleasant afternoon, and seeing a cloud forming way off on the horizon. There were a lot of clouds for a long time in France.

Put your own sunshine or clouds in it. It’s lovely musical furniture for your life.

3 Responses

  1. I have this CD called “Music in the Age of Van Gogh” that doesn’t have anything by Satie but probably should. I think picturing clouds is the right idea — something that can be so spectacular, and then vanishes.

  2. In addition to describing it as a movie score, it also resembles what’s called a musical bridge in old-time radio drama, to indicate a scene shift to the listener’s ear and mind.

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