Deutsche Grammophon presents the release of Fragments; this groundbreaking series celebrates music past and present by inviting some of today’s most innovative artists to rework the creations of earlier influential composers. The series begins by paying homage to the visionary Erik Satie.
Satie loved to give his pieces evocative offbeat names. Think Gymnopedies, Pièces froides and Ogives. And for Kid Francescoli – the French electro-pop act founded by Mathieu Hocine in 2002 – one title in particular sparked his imagination: Gnossienne No. 1. The word was of Satie’s own invention, inspired by ancient Greece but new enough to be open to interpretation. ‘Particularly in relation to Satie, “Gnossienne” implies a period of stillness,’ explains Kid Francescoli, ‘something moving forwards yet standing still at the same time.’ Satie captures exactly that paradoxical quality in his solo piano piece.
And the cinematic quality of Satie’s music also spoke to Kid Francescoli, whose own music regularly features in TV adverts and series, from Chanel to Emily in Paris. Satie may have written the Gnossienne No. 1 in 1890 but there’s something irresistibly modern about the way he breaks the traditional rules of music. ‘I thought it would be great to transcribe it as a car journey,’ says Kid Francescoli, ‘I’ve tried to turn it into the soundtrack of a night-time drive, with the lights of the city reflecting on the windscreen.’