Eric Alfred Leslie Satie (born Honfleur, 17 May 1866 - died Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer, performing pianist and publicist. He also described himself as a "gymnopedist" (in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies), and later as a "phonometrograph" or "phonometrician" (someone who measures and writes down sounds - preferring this definition of his profession to musician, after he had been called a "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers in 1911). Eventually, in the last year of his life, he would also become a cameo film actor (Entr'acte). He can also be seen as a serial precursor, stretches ahead of many 20th century avant-garde artistic ideas, see below.
He is best known as Erik Satie (changing the "c" at the end of his first name to "k" as a kind of artist's name, from his first composition in 1884 on). Although in later life priding himself in always publishing his work under his own name, there appears to have been a brief period from the end of 1888 on that he published articles under the pseudonym of Virginie Lebeau.