This is a picture book (no shame in that) which pays homage to the musician with eyes. It is recommended that, as you peruse the images herein, you add (please don’t listen closely to) some Satie furniture music (in preference Sports et Divertissements).
Satie’s Faction was founded in 1975 by the artist, John Furnival, who organized an exhibition and a concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Satie’s death. John has recorded that « I first heard the name back in the early fifties during talks at the Wimbledon School of Art on Picasso’s costumes for Parade. I got to know his music through advert for some kind of toilet-paper on TV! On being asked whom I would have liked to have been, I wouldn’t have minded being Satie if he hadn’t already been ». Satie’s Faction remains an open group of artists and musicians similarly enthused with this Franco-Scottish ‘phonometrician’.
Erik Satie was truly unconventional, alongside Percy Grainger and Charles Ives, but not in the negative sense often used by musical commentators who espouse the erroneous belief that advanced music hails only from the New Viennese School. Amongst them is the arch-villain and upholder of bourgeoise musical tastes, Pierre Boulez. He it was who chose to attack John Cage by proxy by means of a polemic against Satie. And yet, despite all the evidence demonstrating that contemporary music has emerged primarily from Satie’s way of thinking, the notion persists that just to speak a new musical language (serialism and its successors) somehow readily communicates new ideas. It is undoubtedly a paradox that, by retaining a language that communicates (even if it appears somewhat archaic), Satie has had more new ideas to convey than the most radical of the so-called avant-garde. That he communed with the most advanced visual artists of his time, and has inspired so may of today’s artists, confirms his relevance and importance to contemporary culture. To quote Francis Picabia…. ‘Vous avez crié: à bas SATIE. Je crie: vive ERIK SATIE!.