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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

COFFEE BREAK | Every Recording Of Satie's Gymnopedie One Played At Once

By Ludwig Van on February 1, 2016

Erik Satie
Erik Satie

(via) The work of French composer and pianist Eric Satie has served as an important precursor to the late twentieth-century development of minimalist music. His use of repetition in works such as Ogives (1886) and Vexations (1893) are obvious examples, as are his three Gymnopedies. Satie called his idea, “Musique d’Ameublement” or furniture music, and believed music could not only function as foreground but also as background music to everyday activities.

A sound artist named Brendan Landis, who records as Hey Exit, has created a fascinating piece by combing every known recording of Satie’s Gymnopedie 1. As each plays at the same time, the attention shifts to the variations in tempo and phrasing, and creates a dense sound with rounded edges. Wild stuff!

For a bonus, check our Sean Dack’s Version/Variation 2011 installation. The piece is similar, in that it plays 26 different recordings of Gymnopedie 1, but they are slowed down to the length of a compact disc.

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