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Deutsche Grammophon presents the second Erik Satie rework in its new genre-defying series, Fragments. Electro-pop artist French 79’s take on Gnossienne No. 5 is released as an e‑single today.
French 79, aka Simon Henner, first came to public attention in 2014 with his single Between the Buttons and has since gone on to find international fame. “I’m honoured and proud to be part of this great project around Erik Satie,” he says. Not least because he remembers his parents’ record collection being full of DG albums in his childhood. Now based in Marseille, he creates his own music, including soundtracks for film and TV, and produces the work of numerous other artists.
For his Fragment, French 79 has chosen Gnossienne No. 5, a lilting and nonchalant solo piano piece composed by Satie in 1889. Having already written the groundbreaking Gymnopédies, the French composer turned to another new genre of his own invention with this work, later published as the fifth of his six Gnossiennes. “His ability to craft such simple yet beautiful melodies, and his distinctive song structures, as when a theme comes and goes through a piece – these are still relevant patterns in today’s electronic music,” says French 79. “I’ve tried to preserve these ideas in my approach to Gnossienne No. 5 while offering my own interpretation.”
Fragments celebrates music past and present by inviting some of today’s most innovative electronic artists to rework the creations of earlier influential composers. With an initial focus on the work of the visionary Erik Satie, the series was launched in August with the release of TWO LANES’ “Danses de travers No. 2”. DG will issue twelve Satie reworks as e-singles over the next few months, with a full album release planned for May 2021.