Artist / Band / Musician
I was considered as an outsider, a lone wolf with projects of my own. For example I founded my own church. As a result I valued my privacy very highly and never let anyone see my apartment in Arceuil, where I lived for the last 27 years of my life. I only had one known relationship in my life - an intense love affair in 1893 with the model, painter and former trapeze artiste Suzanne Valadon.
I lived as a true artist, for my music and my ideals. I had no respect for money and lived a poor life for many years. I was never afraid of expressing my true opinion. If I found someone to be a jerk I made this perfectly clear (and took the consequences).
Even though I was a fascinating person in many ways, it is my music that is the major reason for my popularity. I was very creative and had a great influence on my colleagues Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Francis Poulenc. Because my music was ahead of my time and regarded as timeless, I also have great influence on many modern composers.
I was a forerunner to minimalism. I experimented with what I called furniture music, meant to be in the background rather than listened to. I composed music to be listened at different angles, similar pieces divided into several parts. Many of my compositions have influences from medieval music and from French composers.
My most famous works are the serene Gymnopédies (three similar piano pieces), the mystical Vexations (short piano piece repeated 840 times), the popular piano suite Trois Morceaux en forme de Poire (duet), the ballet Parade (with some very odd instruments) and the ballet Relâche (with film sequences included).
My music was rather unknown and underrated until the 1960s. My popularity has grown ever since.
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