In 1886 Satie was recovered for military service (at that time 5 years and by lottery procedure), but he withdraws intentionally bronchitis and becomes unfit for service. After his release, he moved with his friend Contamine de Latour to Montmartre, which had already become a magnet for artists. Here he leads a poor life as a bohemian - with a job as a pianist in the cabaret "Chat Noir". His home: a tiny room in the Rue Cortot Nr.6.-
He takes the anti-bourgeois atmosphere around himself to the fullest, even temporarily he joins the esoteric circle of "Rosi-crucians" around Sar Péladan (eg. like Debussy), where he is, however, finally rejected by the lack of freedom. On the other hand, this experience inspired him to works such as Le Fils des Etoiles (1891).
"Even in the Gnossiennes (1890), there is an idiosyncrasy which over the years Satie brought the reputation of being one of the wittiest heads of Paris: Instead of the traditional expression markings, he writes words, sentences, remarks in the score, which bring the suspicion from the beginning that they not only meant to be as play instructions." (Wehmeyer, Hofheim 1997, S.97 - own translation)
Don't go higher.
Bury the sound.
Open your head.
(Satie, Play instructions)
(Satie, Schriften, S.37 ff.)
"For Our part, with profound sadness We deplore ignorance of the sacred character of Art, lack of observence of the meditative spirit it demands, and any attempt to attach it to vain worldly conventions." (1893, ironic reference to a production of Wagner's 'Valkyrie ride' -on 9 meter high roller coaster ride - at the Paris Opera, Writings, S.126)