Trois Gymnopedies I [03:49] 7.1Mb (Satie)

Trois Gymnopedies I

'Everyone will tell you that I am not a musician. That is correct. From the very beginning of my career, I classed myself as a photometrographer. My work is completely photometrical. Take my Fils des Etoiles, or my Morceaux en Forme d'une Poire, my En Habit de Cheval, or my Sarabandes — it is evident that musical ideas played no part whatsoever in their composition. Science is the dominating factor.

'Besides, I enjoy measuring a sound much more than hearing it. With my phonometer in my hand, I work happily and with confidence. What haven't I weighed or measured? I've done all Beethoven, all Verdi, etc. It's fascinating. The first time I used a phonoscope, I examined a B flat of medium size. I can assure you that I have never seen anything so revolting. I called in my man to show it to him. On my phono-scales a common (or garden) F-sharp registered 93 kilos. It came out of a fat tenor whom I also weighed.

'Do you know how to clean sounds? It's a filthy business. Stretching them out is cleaner; indexing them is a meticulous task and needs good eyesight. Here, we are in the realm of phonotechnique.

'On the question of sound explosions, which can often be so unpleasant, some cotton wool in the ears can deaden their effect quite satisfactorily. Here, we are in the realm of psychopyry.

'To write my Pieces Froides, I used a caleidophonic recorder. It took seven minutes. I called in my man to let him hear them.

'I think I can say that phonology is superior to music. There's more variety to it. The financial return is greater, too, I owe my fortune to it. At all events, with a motodynaphone, even a rather inexperienced phonometrologist can easily note down more sounds than the most skilled musician in the same time, using the same amount of effort. This is how I have been able to write so much.

'And so the future lies with phonometrology.' -- Eric Satie, 'Memoirs of an Amnesiac'

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