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About 'Gnossiennes no. 3'
Satie, Erik (biography)
1866 , Honfleur
1925 , Paris
Eccentric French composer who influenced the Parisian composers of the early 20th century, including Debussy and Stravinsky. His ballet Parade was performed by Diaghilev and displayed a jazz influence. He is known for his comic and bizarre titles, such as 'Three Pear-shaped pieces'.
Satie's coining of the word "gnossienne" was one of the rare occasions when a composer used a new term to indicate a new "type" of composition. The word appears to be derived from "gnosis"; Satie was involved in gnostic sects and movements at the time that he began to compose the Gnossiennes. However, some published versions claim that the word derives from Cretan "knossos" or "gnossus" and link the Gnossiennes to Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur myth. Several archeological sites relating to that theme were famously excavated around the time that Satie composed the Gnossiennes.