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Music Releases (more headlines) 02-25-2014

Satie And Valadon : The Seasons Of Love

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1. Spring : In Montmartre

Satie’s Gymnopédies were published in 1888, shortly after he moved to Montmartre. They are regarded as an early example of Ambient music and this piece is based on Gymnopédie 1.

2. Summer : Dans Un Rêve D’Amour is based on the song Je Te Veux with a French voiceover by Lena Gravis using Henry Pacory's original lyric.

Satie met Suzanne Valadon one evening in the Chat Noir, and before the night was out he had proposed to her! He was besotted with her, but a turbulent relationship followed. They would often go out in an evening with Paul Mousis and when Satie became embroiled in this ménage à trois he brought the relationship to an end. He wrote to his brother “I shall have great difficulty in regaining possession of myself, loving this little person as I have loved her …”

Many years later he must surely have reflected on his affair with Valadon when he wrote Je Te Veux to the lyrics of Henry Pacory, on which this piece is based.

3. Autumn : Vexations

Satie’s Vexations requires the performer to prepare for its 840 repetitions ‘dans le plus grand silence, par des immobilitiés sérieuses’; in a meditative state. Vexations is a form of Mantra, so Mike Williams has reflected that in the Indian instrumentation used for this piece, which he describes as 'a 3 step descent into Winter, with a singing Indian goddess to keep you company.'

4. Winter : Adieu

Satie wrote Bonjour Biqui, Bonjour for Suzanne Valadon as an Easter gift in 1893. It’s a very short composition of just 3 chords, and the last of these chords is the same chord that Vexations begins with. Bonjour is obviously not a Happy Easter card. Mike Williams has a theory that Satie was reflecting the torment of his ménage à trois with Valadon and Mousis in both the 3 chords of Bonjour, as well as the 3 part harmony used in Vexations.

Satie continued to write letters to Valadon many years after their relationship ended, although many of these letters were never sent. In this piece Mike Williams takes fragments from the lyrics of Je Te Veux and develops the very short Bonjour to explore the emotional torment of Satie's long Adieu.

"The Seasons of Love" by Mike Williams is being distributed worldwide on-line through MondoTunes beginning 2 April 2014.

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