While it's important to move forward with music in order to explore new grounds and create new sound that has never been heard before, it is equally important that we consider the past as well. The internet and home computing have given the capability to anyone who owns a computer to become a legitimate musician- there are hundreds of new releases that come out everyday; while we at Earmilk try to help you sort through it all, staying on top of everything is impossible. As with consumer products, as quantity increases, quality generally decreases. The same can be said about music, which is why here at Earmilk try to bring you the best of what's out there. With the influx of so much music it's easy to forget the past, but some of the past is worth remembering.
The music I bring you today is going way back to the past, the late 1800s to be more specific. The man pictured above is named Eric Satie, and if you've already heard of him, you'll know that we can call him the father of ambient and 'chill' music. Satie was never accepted to the Paris Conservatoire which he constantly applied to get into, because his piano skills were 'not good enough.' Satie's piano works were considered extremely avant-garde at the time of their creation, but not in a good way; he made no money from music and was in no way popular among his people. His slow paced piano playing was deemed 'garbage' by classical elitists and listeners of his time. I once read that the most money Satie ever came across was inheritance from the death of a family member, and the following day, he spent all of it on fourteen identical gray valour suits (from what I gather Satie was a bit of an eccentric fellow). The two songs I've included today, Gymnopedie No. 1 and Gnossienne No. 1 have gone on to become some of the most famous classical piano pieces of all time. Satie's slow, relaxing style has undoubtedly paved the way for the ambient and relaxed electronic and organic music of today- albeit there were many others between his life and ours who explored the path Satie set forth (namely Brian Eno– see Music for Airports)
While musical recording didn't even exist when these songs were first created, you can download a 1996 recording of Satie's major works played by classical pianist Pascal Roge in a collection called After the Rain. The songs above are from those recordings, the collection is a truly important addition to any music lover's collection. Download the entire album for free below:
You can read more about Satie and his legacy here if you're interested.