Erik Satie wrote his series of Gnossiennes before the turn of the 20th Century. It’s a made up word, gnossiennes is. He made up the style, and the name for it, and an explanation for it died with him in 1924. He was constantly reinventing and explaining himself, each explanation making everything more cryptic along the way.
Interesting and intelligent people generally cannot explain themselves. They obfuscate by talking, the opposite of regular people. An artist’s sole ability is to conjure an impression out of nothing. They are unlikely to turn off the power to do so when asked a direct question. They can’t be trusted.
Number 4 Gnossiennes wasn’t even published until 1968. An afterthought? Who can say. It gets me through the day some days. Satie termed some of his compositions “furniture music.” They are ambient — part of the furnishings of a room.
I work alone, in a cold place. On days like today, the sun heaves itself into view for a moment on the shoulder of the horizon, and then collapses in a heap shortly after. The landscape is sere and frosted, and the flakes come down like ground bones. I have a mask on my face, and a clamp over my head to dull the din. The machines growl like they’re wounded. When I’m able to turn it off for a moment, Satie takes his turn, producing his furniture in the room I produce furniture in. I put my hands right on the metal duct that carries the heat from the fire to the house upstairs, and I feel the residue of the sun of many Julys pass by. It is a kind of perfection.