Unsent Love Letters - Meditations on Erik Satie

by Deutsche Grammophon | May 19, 2017

Welcome to composer Elena Kats-Chernin's videoblog about her new album "Unsent Love Letters".

Webisode #1


by Elena Kats-Chernin | May 19, 2017

Elena Kats-Chernin here introduces her forthcoming video blog, in which she talks about the album "Unsent Love Letters" that she composed about the person and music of Erik Satie. Her piano music is played by Tamara-Anna Cislowska in this album.

Webisode #2

Absynthe Cocktail

by Deutsche Grammophon | May 19, 2017

Erik Satie was an eccentric personality - both in his professional and personal life. One of his favourite drinks was called "Absynthe Cocktail". So composer Elena Kats-Chernin decided to compose a track on her new album expecially about this drink. Here she explains why - to the music of course that she composed and accompanied by her drawing of a goblet that symbolises this drink and which became the cover of the album.

Webisode #3

Le Chat Noir

by Deutsche Grammophon | May 19, 2017

Le Chat Noir was the name of a cabaret in the Montmartre area of Paris which Satie used to visit. That's why composer Elena Kats-Chernin chose to compose a track about it for the album.

For this video episode, we thought it would be fun to watch Elena Kats-Chernin draw a sketch of how she sees a black cat - to the accompaniment of course of her own music "Le Chat Noir" from the album.

One more thing! Elena Kats-Chernin is quite proud of the wordplay with her own name too! 'Chat' in French means 'cat' and 'Chernin' in Russian approximately means 'black' or 'noir' in French!

Webisode #4


by Deutsche Grammophon | May 26, 2017

Watch and listen to Elena kats-Chernin drawing another musical sketch from her album about Erik Satie - Unsent Love Letters. This time it is about a track called Patchouli.

On the one hand Patchouli is a perfume. FOr Kats-Chernin Satie's music is wonderfully aromatic. So the sketch is a drop of perfume oil.

On the other hand the drop of oil also looks like a tear, which Kats-Chernin also finds appropriate, since Satie's life was in part sad. He fell in love with a famous singer, who did not return his love.

Webisode #5


by Deutsche Grammophon | June 01, 2017

Satie referred to himself as "Phonometrician", as word he made up in order to describe one aspect of his composing technique - measuring sound.

See this blogpost for how Elena Kats-Chernin comments on the track she composed about this aspect of Satie.

Webisode #6

One Table, One Chair

by Deutsche Grammophon | June 09, 2017

When Satie died, friends first entering his appartment found on the one hand his "unsent love letters" (prompting the title of this album) to the only known and short love of his life, model and herself an artist, Suzanne Valadon as well as just one table and one chair. This epitomises Satie's loneliness as Elene Kats-Chernin tells in her 6th blog post.