Today 153 years ago Éric Alfred Leslie Satie is born in Honfleur (Calvados).
Je suis venu au monde très jeune dans un tempes très vieux.
I was born very young into times very old.
- Jules-Alfred Satie (1842–1903)
- Jane Leslie Anton (1838–1872)
Alfred was a shipping-broker at the time, but also had a creative side: he wrote poetry and salon music and spoke seven languages fluently. He loved traveling, and Honfleur was in ideal place for this. It's port connected France and Great Britain and Honfleur itself was a very lifely and artsy town. In 1865 he met his future wife, Jane Leslie, who was born to Scottish parents but grew up in London. They had sent her to Honfleur in order to learn French. This appears to have been a true meeting of minds. Their courtship has been, as Orledge puts it, a "whirlwind". Alfred was friends with Albert Sorel
(writer, historian, 9 times nominated for the nobel prize
), whom he told that Jane was "a good musician and draws well". They married in 1865 and conceived their first child, Éric, during their following honeymoon.
Little did they anticipate that their house where Éric was born and and spent his first years is today known as "Maison Satie"
, is an official Honfleur tourist attraction and has been transformed into a museum and therefore is open to visitors.
It can be accessed from two sides, which may explain why Grete Wehmeyer gives 6 Rue Haute as the address, while the museum's official address is given as 67 Boulevard Charles V, 14600 Honfleur, France. As can be seen in below Youtube embeds, the exhibition pays tribute to Satie's artistic nature (as can be concluded from reading some reviews
) by facilitating a really creative approach towards presenting Satie's life and work in an exhibition that appears to be as multi-layered as his works. Visitors get an audio guide that compliments the surreal and sometimes obviously interactive artworks inspired by his works.
Sources: (Orledge, p. 3), (Wehmeyer, p. 16/17)
Image credits: By Muu-karhu - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, #^https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2964463