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Noon Edition

Keep It Simple Podcast

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This week on Ether Game’s Weekly Music Quiz Podcast, the Brain Trust is removing all the frills and exploring simplicity in classical music. It's a show we're calling “Keep It Simple.” Can you name this simple tune? (The answer is below) Remember to keep your ears out for a portion of Tuesday night’s Teaser selection. And don’t forget to tune into the full show on Tuesday, January 16th at 8:00pm for a chance to win a prize!

Erik Satie (1866–1925): GYMNOPÉDIE, NO. 1

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano. The Magic Of Satie (Decca)

Satie’s first “Gymnopedie” seems simple on the surface. It’s quite slow, with a simple “oom-pah” in the left hand, and right hand melody that moves only in quarter notes. But for what it lacks in musical complexity, it makes up for in an aura of mystery. Satie was by all accounts a strange guy. For a decade, he wore the same velvet gray suit every day, and always carried an umbrella. He never held down a steady job. Here’s an interesting story: Satie frequented a famous Parisian night club called Le Chat Noir (the black cat). One night, the night club’s owner wanted to know Satie’s profession, so he told him he was a “gymnopedist.” Now, that’s not really a profession. A Gymnopaedia was a kind of ancient greek dancing and athletic ritual, usually done in the nude. A few months after that comment, Satie wrote his set of simple and mysterious Gymnopedies.

Music Heard On This Episode

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