Published 11 December 200812 December 2008 · Main Posts piano and Satie Andrew The piano had been sitting there gathering dust — it was ‘on loan’ for several years while its previous owner made up his mind what he wanted to do with it, and now it’s become a permanent fixture. So I started taking lessons. Currently I’m working on “Gymnopédie No. 1” by Erik Satie. It’s a famous piece, but I heard it a few weeks ago when I saw the film Man on Wire, a documentary about a guy who tight-rope walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in the 1970s. I also remember it from Diva, and I’m sure it’s been in a bunch of French films. The music is simple and beautiful and filled with a sense of impermanence and longing. Satie wrote it in 1888 when he was 22, the bastard. It makes me think of early autumn mornings before the city is properly awake and the sun is trying and failing to reach the ground. I bought the sheet music for some of Satie’s other piano pieces today. The best thing about them is the playful indications Satie gives for the performer. Here are a few, translated from French: ralentir — becoming softer diminuer — getting slower douloureux — sadly, sorrowful triste — sadly très luisant — very brightly questionnez — ask du bout de la pensée — on the brink of an idea postulez en vous-même — make your own demands pas à pas — little by little sur la langue — on the tip of the tongue avec étonnement — with astonishment ne sortez pas — don’t leave dans une grande bonté — with much kindness plus intiment — more intimately avec une légere intimité — with a light intimacy sans orgveil — without arrogance conseillez-vous soigneusement — plan with care muniessez-vous de clairvoyance — arm yourself sharply seul, pendant un instant — alone, for a moment de manière à obtenir un creux — how to achieve absolutely nothing très perdue — quite lost portez cela plus loin — pursue this further ouvrez la tête — open your head enfouissez le son — muffle the sound Andrew More by Andrew › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.