UNT on the Square Presents Satie-Ricon: Erik Satie at 150

If you’re into surrealist art, occultism, poetry, or music, you may want to block out a few days on this week’s calendar. UNT is bringing “Satie-Ricon” to campus and to the Denton square!

Satie-Ricon is a multi-day event that will include lectures, a concert, a 24-hour music marathon, and “moving sculpture” featuring UNT dance students and alumni. The event was inspired by the life and works of Erik Satie, who was “a French composer who bridges the 19th and 20th century artistic movements,” according to a press release from the university. Satie was apparently called “the laziest student in the Conservatoire” by one of his teachers at the Paris Conservatory; however, the composer would go on to write works that most people have heard today. Satie is even credited with the invention of “music meant to serve completely as background ambience”—or, as we know it, “elevator music.”

Throughout his career Satie befriended Salvador Dali, hosts and attendees at Parisian salons, occultists, and many musicians. Per the UNT press release, these friends “inspired him to write what would become some of the most influential French music that would provide the basis for a generation of 20th century composers who called themselves Les Six.” Satie is also credited with inspiring contemporary musicians such as Brian Eno, John Cage, and even Jeff Bailey, who composed the music for cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and The Looney Tunes. This year marks 150 years since Satie's birth, so the tribute seems timely and fitting.

Satie-Ricon will take place throughout the week in separate installations. On Tuesday, October 11th, a talk entitled “Satie the Mystic” will be held at the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (UNT campus) at 7 PM. “Satie the Satirist and Humorist,” another short talk, will precede a concert at UNT on the Square at 7 PM on Thursday, October 13th. Finally, beginning at 6 PM on Friday, October 14th, a 24-hour music marathon (entitled “Vexations”) will run concurrently with “moving sculpture” by UNT dancers and alumni.

All Satie-Ricon events are free and open to the public.

Header image design by Sara Button