Deutsche Grammophon introduces the genre-defying Fragments. What happens when some of the most groundbreaking creative talents on the electronic music scene are invited to reimagine works by a pioneer from the past? This intriguing new series holds the answers. Fragments will spotlight the music of a single composer, issuing twelve reworks as e-singles over a period of months, culminating in a full album release. At the heart of the series is a dynamic dialogue between past and present, tradition and innovation, creation and re-creation.
Fragments begins by focusing on the music of eccentric French genius Erik Satie, forefather of modern minimalism and an enduring influence almost a century after his death. The Satie series kicks off in style with a rework by Berlin-based duo TWO LANES, known for music rich in both acoustic and electronic elements. Based on the same work from the composer’s Pièces froides (“Cold Pieces”), their “Danses de travers No. 2” launches the series on 27 August.
“When we set out to find artists to work on Satie’s music, the idea was met with unanimous enthusiasm,” says Marc Fritsch, Director Special Projects at Deutsche Grammophon. “This has led to an original and eclectic collection of remixes and reworks. Fragments moves between different creative worlds – classical and electronic, online and offline, old and new. It brings together different artforms and gives musicians the opportunity to engage with timeless traditions of making music in ways that are sure to be surprising, stimulating and satisfying, just as Satie’s compositions were when they were new.”
TWO LANES were drawn to one of the essential ingredients of Satie’s piece in particular. “The lightness and playfulness of the ascending broken chords that evolve throughout the work inspired us to record some parts on the piano, in reminiscence of the original,” say the artists. “By blending these recordings with electronic beat elements and analogue synthesisers we were able to transform Satie’s music into the realm of our own musical language. His music has always been a great source of inspiration for us. Its minimalism and simplicity are qualities that can also be found in today’s electronic music.”
The release of “Danses de travers No. 2” is complemented by an animated music video made specially for the project by motion designer and illustrator Karim Dabbèche. Its quirky, monochrome, kaleidoscopically shifting images reflect the dreamlike nature of the music.
Fragments celebrates the innovation of the contemporary electronic music scene and the openness of its artists to create collaborations with other artforms. The first volume in the series, scheduled for release in May 2022, reflects the breadth of Satie’s avant-garde artistic universe, which spanned everything from regular work as a cabaret pianist and commissions as a popular songwriter to creating atmospheric miniatures such as the Pièces froides, collaborating with Picasso, Cocteau and Diaghilev on the ballet Parade and writing one of the earliest film scores, for René Clair’s surrealist Entr’acte.