harpist rebecca roth

rebecca roth

Works of Satie

Slight dissonance, interesting harmonies, and relaxing repetition make the Gymnopédies and first three Gnossiennes perhaps Erik Satie's most well-know works.

People have described these pieces as: dreamy, soporific, a balm, beguiling, languid, enigmatic, and gorgeous.

Early in the pandemic, Erik Satie’s music started showing up on compilations of background music for working from home or chilling out.

The Gymnopédies

Satie at one point considered himself a "gymnopédiste", which is defined as "someone who writes Gymnopédies". Hey, thanks. Gymnopédies could refer to a dance in ancient Greece.

Satie wrote the first and the third Gymnopédies in 1888, the second in 1895, around the time my harp was made.

He was, unsurprisingly, known for giving musicians odd or impossible instructions in his music. The Gymnopédies have some of the eaiser-to-follow directions for playing.

  1. Lent et douloureux - Slowly and painfully
  2. Lent et triste - Slowly and sadly
  3. Lent et grave - Slowly and gravely

The Gnossiennes

The Gnossiennes are also considered dances (possibly a qualifier that came from Satie himself), and were written after the Sarabandes and the Gymnopédies.

They were composed around 1890 and published in 1893.

  1. Lent - Slowly
  2. Avec étonnement - With astonishment
  3. Lent - Slowly

You can hear how well they work on harp by clicking on the album artwork shown here, or buy it on bandcamp.

Released 30 June 2013