Satie’s Gnossienne, Forking Paths, and Time’s Ever Presence

🎹 SO TRUE SISTERS, SOME CRITICS OF THAT TIME SAID ABOUT SATIE HE WAS A CUBIST COMPOSER. HIS PIANO TOUCHES SEEM TO EXPLORE THE SPACE.

Deborah J. Brasket

Japanese Style Landscape Paul Ranson

Time-travelling—that’s what it feels like when listening to Erik Satie’s Gnossienne. When I close my eyes and let the music move me, I’m transported to faraway places and distant times. I can see the mist rising from the river, the arched bridges, the damp gray stones of gothic towers tilting toward sullen skies. I can feel the cool breath of the river, smell the sweet-dank dampness of rain-drenched streets, hear the clatter of distant hoofs on cobblestones. It’s almost as if I’ve entered some strangely familiar dreamscape, or the distant landscape of an idealized past.

These dark, insistent, melancholy notes play us and ply us across space and time in rapturous eloquence. It reminds us that we share so much of our common past, our common humanity, to the art and music and literature that inspires us.

I’m reminded of the short story “The Garden…

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