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Ornella Volta

Ornella Volta

Ornella Volta is one of today's most important researchers of Erik Satie. She founded the Archives de la fondation Erik Satie in 1981 and is running the Erik Satie museum at 6 rue Cortot, Paris. Information from Archives de la Fondation Erik Satie follows:

The Archives de la Fondation Erik Satie, founded in 1981, propose to collect information and documents concerning Erik Satie's life, anthume and posthume works and to contribute to all events (concerts, exhibitions, publications...) allowing to deepen the knowledge of Erik Satie's music, literature and drawings as well as the artists and poets who know and have known him.

Erik Satie as a child
Erik Satie as a child. From the Erik Satie museum, 6 rue Cortot, Paris.

The Archives de la Fondation Erik Satie are open to researchers, some collected pluridisciplinaire pieces are shown in the Placard d'Erik Satie, the smallest museum in the world, Rue Cortot 6, the address where Erik Satie lived from 1890 to 1898, in a "wardrobe". For the moment (May 1997), both the Archives and the museum are closed for an unlimited time due to inventory and probably they will move to another place.

The crowd waiting to enter the Placard
The crowd waiting to enter the Placard during the celebration of the "Jour de Fète de la Musique" (the Day of the Music) . (only 7 persons at a time were allowed).

It's always possible to mail your questions to the Archives.

Ornella Volta, responsible for the Archives, would like to thank Niclas Fogwall for his hospitality on his Satie site and propose to answer any questions once a month. She will also try to keep you posted on the main events concerning Satie. She informs you, as well, that a huge dossier on Vexations is being prepared by her with details on all the performances (that she´s aware of) world wide, and analyses made by the best international specialists, for example Dr Robert Orledge (England) and Dr Olivier Vogel (Germany). All information on Vexations is appreciated, and particularly any program of the performance, if possible the original, otherwise a copy.

Address: 56 Rue des Tournelles, 75003 Paris, France.

Exhibitional news: (of August 30, 2001)

On July 24, Ornella has given a lecture about the history of the Archives Erik Satie at a meeting on "the contemporary art in feminine" at Museo del Crudo, San Sperate (CA), Italy, in the context of a series of manifestations named "No-art, air to art" organized by the sculptor Pinuccio Sciola.

There will be a conference by Ornella in Como (Italy) about "Satie, an outsider of symbolism" on October 1st and will be followed by a concert Satie/Lacy (with Steve Lacy, Nicholas Isherwood and Jeff Cohen) in the context of "Como musical autumn" on October 3rd.

Biographical news: (of February 6, 2001)

Correspondance presque complète Erik Satie, Correspondance presque complète
Réunie, établie et présentée par Ornella Volta
Paris, Fayard/Imes, novembre 2000
ISBN: 2 213 60 674 0 3556 0874 01/4
1265 pages, 290FF

Exhibitional news: (of June 11, 2000)

Within the framework of "the Satie summer" we currently arrange two exhibitions:

Satie sur scène
June 17-Sep 18, Musée Eugéne Boudin, rue de l'Homme de Bois, 14600 Honfleur, France.

Variations Satie
June 21-Sep 10, l'Abbaye-aux-Dames, place Raine Mathilde, 14000 Caen, France.

Exhibitional news: (of March 3, 2000)

March 15-April 22: exposition “Erik Satie de Montmartre a Montparnasse.”
Museum Daimaru, Osaka (Commissaire and Catalog: OV)

April 27-May 22 same at Isetan Museum, Tokyo
(organization: TD projects, Tokyo)

May 17-September 21: Exposition “SATIE SUR SCÈNE”,
Museum Eugene Boudin, Honfleur (commissaire A.M.Bergeret and OV, Catalog OV)

May 21–September 21: Exposition “LES DADAS DE SATIE”
(commissaire A.M.Bergeret and OV, Catalog OV)

During summer 2000, in Normandie several concerts and ballets around Satie

October 5-8: Four days of “Concerts Satie” at Musee d’Orsay

October 2000: Seminar “Ecrire la Musique” focused on Satie, Caên, Abbaye d’Ardenne

February 29–April 30: Satie will be covered also at the exposition “LES EXTRAVAGANTS DU THÉÂTRE” at the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris

April-June 2000 Satie will be covered at the exposition “JE N’AIME PAS LA CULTURE” orgaized in Bruxelles by Euroculture.

At the end of June Ornella will participate at a meeting about “MUSICAL ARCHIVES” in Munich and will be coauthor in a publication (Garland,2001) on “Jean Cocteau, l’evangeliste de l’avant-garde”

Bibliographical news: (of March 3, 2000)

June 2000 (hopefully) publication IMEC/FAYARD of the “Correspondance presque complète”

The Archives will be transferred to Caên, Abbaye d’Ardenne and partly to Honfleur, Maison Erik Satie between June 2000 and January 1 2005. The Abbaye d’Ardenne will be open to researchers, that will be able to sojourn there, and there will be also an informatic connection.

Bibliographical news: (of July 7, 1999)

La banlieue d'Erik Satie Now available:
Ornella Volta, La banlieue d'Erik Satie, Arceuil, Macadam, 1999, 110 pages, 85 illustrations. It contains many new testimonys on the reports of Satie in the working suburb of Arcueil.

I also prepare the almost complete Correspondence which will appear next year. The Vexations file will also appear, but it was delayed a little and I don't know yet when I can finish it.

A Satie CD ROM is also in my future plans.

Exhibitional news: (of July 7, 1999)

I am very occupied at the moment by an Erik Satie exposure which I organize in Japan to be held next year (March-May, initially with the Daimaru Museum of Osaka, then with the Isetan Museum of Tokyo), then two other Satie exposures (Satie et le spectacle) in an abbey (l'Abbey-aux-Dames), a couple of kilometres from Caèn, on various aspects of our composer.

Bibliographical news (of March 25, 1999)

In June I will publish a new book: La banlieue d'Erik Satie, Paris, Macadam & C:o.
(on the relation between Satie and Arcueil)

In April there will appear a collection of all the 4 known Musiques d'ameublement, including Chez un bistrot, Un salon, played for the first time in 1920, Galerie Harbazanges. (at Salabert, collection Archives Erik Satie)

In May, there will appear an amusing video on Le Piège de Meduse and other texts of Satie, by famous whimsical Paolo Poli (in Italian). Can be ordered through Produzioni teatrali Paolo Poli, Via dello Sprone 18, 50125 Firenze, Italy.
Tel. 39 0335 8141787, or fax 39 055 7879522.

In France, a new TV documentary on Satie is now available, Le Fils des Etoiles, by Anne Imbert, High Speed Productions.

Exhibitional news: (of March 1, 1999)

We are currently preparing 4 great Satie exposures:

1. Osaka (Japan), Daimaru Museum, March-April 2000: Satie and his painter friends.
2. Tokyo (Japan), Isetan Museum, April-May 2000: Satie and his painter friends.
3. Caén (France), Abbaye aux Dames, June-July 2000: Satie and poets.
4. Honfleur (France), Museum Eugene Boudin, July-Sep 2000: Satie and the theatre.

On May 22-23, 1999, there will be a conference: Erik Satie et la Parigi del suo tempo in Forli (Italy), with the following participants:

Toni Giraci, Musique d'Ameublement
Michel Girard, Teatro musicale
Adriano Guarnieri, Scrittura e esplosione
Roberto Leydi, Un progetto transculturale
Antoni Trudo, Entr'acte
Gianfrenco Vinay, Il concetto di parodia
Ornella Volta, L'enigma come mezzo di communicazione

With recital of Aldo Ciccolini.

Bibliographical news: (of March 1, 1999)

In June there will appear a new book: La banlieue d'Erik Satie, Arceuil, Macadam & Cie, 1999.

The Vexations book will finally appear this year through Editions du Placard. Preliminary subscriptions possible through Archives de la fondation Erik Satie.

Exhibitional news: (of August 29, 1998)

September 20, I will make in collaboration with the French writer Raymond Jean, academic and specialist in the marquis de Sade, a conference on Sade-Satie in Arcueil, commented on with the sax by Steve Lacy.

On May 17, 1998 in Trieste, Teatro Miela, there was a performance of Vexations transversal: 42 simultaneous performances (piano and synthesizers) during twenty times (the world's shortest Vexations performance, therefore!).

Exhibitional news: (of August 3, 1998)

The Satie House, le Maisons Satie, the small virtual museum, a kind of electronic toy, has become a success. Opened in Honfleur on June 20.

Musical news: (of August 3, 1998)

Éditions Salabert will soon publish the partition of piano four hands of Parade, supplemented by the only Musique d'Ameublement played by Satie: Chez un Bistrot; Un Salon (1920). These two editions in the collection Archives Erik Satie are directed by myself.

Musical news: (of June 15, 1998)

A splendid CD has just been released: transcriptions of works of Satie for the accordion, played by Teodoro Anzellotti, in Munich, at Winter & Winter, 910-031-2. It dissipated all my prejudices on the accordion! and is really of a great quality.

Bibliographical news: (of June 15, 1998)

On May 21/22 there took place a Conference in Venice, dependent on the Picasso exposure which takes place in this moment even in Palazzo Grassi, with a conference which brought together some international specialists in Picasso and during which I revealed the reason of the title Prélude du Rideau rouge (Prelude of the red Curtain) in the opening of Parade of Erik Satie. This lecture will be published in Actes du Colloque (the Acts of the Conference) which will appear in Venice at the end of this year.

Erik Satie Honfleurais On June 20 a small book will be released: Ornella Volta, Erik Satie Honfleurais, Honfleur, Editions de la Lieutenance, 1998. It's especially centered on the origins of the Satie family and the childhood of Satie, and the relations between Satie with Honfleur and the children - in his music, his writings and his life. (in French only)

"En mettant en lumière, suite à une enquête de plusieurs années, l'importance que sa ville natale d'Honfleur - propice à l'éclosion de figures excentriques - a eu pour sa formation et dans son oeuvre, ce petit livre lève un coin du voile et permet de mieux connaître Satie à travers Honfleur et, aussi, de mieux connaître Honfleur grâce à Satie."

Conferences and exhibitions news: (of June 15, 1998)

On June 20 in les Maisons Satie d'Honfleur there will open an audio-visual course inside the native house of Erik Satie, open to the public. Entrance: 67, Boulevard Charles V, 14600 Honfleur, open between 3 and 6 pm, every day except Tuesday.

Next year in Forli, Italy, there will be, in June, a Satie Conference, organized by the University of Mantoue.

Musical news: (of March 22, 1998)

I can announce to you that we prepare, at Salabert, a new edition of the partition of Parade for piano with four hands, in the collection Archives Erik Satie, directed by Ornella Volta, edition revised by Gilbert Delor and Ornella Volta, which includes two new parts to date (the "Choral" and the "Finale") which existed up to now only in the partition of orchestra, but which was recently found for the partition four hands also, in the shape of a manuscript autograph. A long preface with this edition includes a lot of new information on the creation and the design of Parade.

Bibliographical news: (of March 22, 1998)

This year 1998, there should also appear, finally, the second volume of the correspondence of Erik Satie, prepared by Ornella Volta and translated into German by Silke Hass, at Wolke, Hofheim (Germany). Title: Erik Satie, Briefe 2.

And in this moment even, in Venice, Palazzo Grassi, you can see (until June 1998) a very beautiful Picasso exposition Picasso: 1917-1924 which includes all the preparatory drawings of Parade and Mercure and especially the two large curtains painted by Picasso for these two ballets, curtains which we for a long time certainly will not have any more occasion to re-examine.

Bibliographical news: (of August 11, 1997)

A small book of 200 pages (150 pages of iconography, called: Ornella Volta, Erik Satie, Paris, Hazan, 1997 will appear at September 15 in French and in English (translation by Simon Pleasance).

Volume 2 of Satie's correspondence will probably be out in German before the end of the year: Erik Satie, Briefe 2, presented by Ornella Volta, translated into German by Silke Hass, Hofheim, Wolde, 1997?

Une Musique d'Ameublement inédite - Chez un bistrot, un Salon, 1920 - will also be out, probably in the beginning of 1998, at Salabert, collection Archives Erik Satie.

In more, Satie will be present in some documents, at the Lisbonne 98 World Exhibition (the last of this century!) and at the exhibition Picasso and the Italian voyage, Venice, Palazzo Grassi, March-June 1998.

I recommend, in more, a little-known book:
Ludwig Striegel, Satierik Paedagogus?, Augsburg, Bernd Wisser, 1996.

We have, in preparation a big Vexation dossier (to be out in 1998). If anybody has any more documentation on any performance please contact Archives de la Fondation Erik Satie (56 Rue des Tournelles, 75003 Paris, France).

Musical news: (of June 11, 1997)

19 inédits d'Erik Satie, Editions Salabert dans la collection "ARCHIVES ERIK SATIE", dirigée par Ornella Volta:

Trois pièces pour piano (Allegro, Modéré, Verset laïque & somptueux), EAS 19354
The Dreamy Fish, The Angora Ox (Le boeuf angora) pour piano, EAS 19356
Deux oeuvres pour violon et piano (Choses..., Embarquement...), EAS 19339X
La statue retrouvée, divertissement, pour trompette en ut et orgue, EAS 19337X
Neuf chansons de cabaret et de caf'conc'pour voix et piano (Un diner à l'Elysée, Le veuf, Petit recueil des fêtes, Imperial-Oxford, J'avais un ami, La chemise), EAS 19350
Choeur des marins, pour ténor, choeur d'hommes et piano, EAS 19336

Bibliographical news: (of June 11, 1997)

Bibliographie raisonnée d'Erik Satie:
(oeuvres musicales et littéraires et études sur le compositeur), by Ornella Volta, Arcueil, 1995.

To receive it, please send a cheque of 100 FF to:
La Bibliothèque municipale Louis Pergaud, 94110 Arcueil (Seine - France).

A Mammal's Notebook: Atlas Press, London, 1996.

Catalogue de l'exposition Erik Satie del Chat Noir a Dada, IVAM, Guillermo de Castro 118, Valencia (Spain).

Now available:

Satie the Bohemian.
From Cabaret to Music-Hall, by Steven Moore Whiting, Oxford Press.

Briefe n.2 (deuxième volume de la Correspondance d'Erik Satie), by O.Volta, translated into German by S. Hass, Hofheim (Germany), Wolke (October 1997).

Recueil iconographique de poche Erik Satie par Ornella Volta
(recueil iconographique de poche),
Paris-London, Hazan-Thames & Hudson,
(September 1997).

147 high quality pictures in pocket format (photos of Satie, manuscripts, posters, album covers and letters) with brief notes by Ornella Volta. Some of the pictures have never been available to the public before.

Concert suggested for tours:

SATIE/LACY. musiques d'Erik Satie proposées en alternance avec des musiques by Steve Lacy, performed by Jay Gottlieb (piano), Steve Lacy (saxophone), and songs by Nicolas Isherwood (bass voice).

Information: Archives de la Fondation Erik Satie.
This concert has been performed in Paris (Halle that Jazz, 1995), at the Festival d'Art de Château-Pitray (France, 1995) and at the Musée de Vendôme (France, 1995), as well in Valencia (Spain, 1996).


Since 1993, the cooperative Bonawentura de Trieste (Teatro Miela, Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi, 3, 34132 Trieste, Italy) celebrates, every 17 May, Erik Satie's birthday. For the 131st birthday this year, a concert dedicated to Satie was performed by young composers and a CD was made (17/05, BM 0001/1997).