Satie was born in Normandy in Northern France in the port of Honfleur,
to a French father and Scottish mother.
He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1879 but dropped out in 1882.
The composition of the three Gymnopédies was completed in April 1888 and in August 1888, the "First Gymnopédie" was published.
These piano works are short, spare and unconventional.
In 1898 Satie moved to Arcueil, a suburb of Paris, where he spent the rest of his life.
Five other composers worked with him and the group became known as 'Les Six', with Jean Cocteau as their publicist.
Serge Diaghilev of the 'Ballet Russe' commissioned Satie to write the music for a surrealist ballet, 'Parade' in 1917.
Cocteau wrote the libretto, and Pablo Picasso designed the cubist sets and costumes.
Satie again collaborated with Picasso on 'Mercure' (for de Beaumont's Soirées de Paris, 1924) and 'Rélâche' (for Les Ballets Suédois, 1924).
In 'Rélâche' Satie rode around the stage in a tiny car, lifting his hat to the audience.
These ballets anticipated surrealism with their noticeable lack of connection
between the action on the stage and the mood of the music. A surrealist movie, part of the ballet,
is accompanied by music that alternates between two neutral, "wallpaper" compositions.