samedi 13 mai 2017

Sequentia Legenda interviewed by Harald Gramberg

An interview with Sequentia Legenda

by Harald Gramberg

The original version of this German interview is available on the Hippiesland website )


Harald G.: «Your electronic works are undoubtedly attributed to the "Berliner Schule" of the 70s. Since when are you musically creative in this field, who were the idols of the 70s that inspired you, how did you reach this musical movement and who makes you receive so many recognitions today?»

Laurent S.: «Indeed, my music is in line with the music of the "Berliner Schule" and especially of the periods from the 70s to 80s. My passion for this style goes back to 1980 when I was 16 years old. It was by exploring my parent's vinyl’s collection that I came across a cover that had challenged me with its minimalistic layout and by this cover with a blue-green face. It was the album "Mirage" by Klaus Schulze. As soon as the sapphire was placed on the grooves of the disc, it was a real thunderbolt for me. I began to listen ad infinitum the A and B face. So, it could be said that everything started for me with this listening.

I inquired what this strange instrument called "synthesizer" really was. At that time, oddities were circulating about the synthesizer, e.g. : It is a sort of filter that is placed in front of speakers, it is an improved organ, just press a button and everything is done automatically, etc. It was at the backroom of a shop in my town that I discovered the famous Minimoog. I was initiating subtractive synthesis and sometime later, I bought my first monophonic synthesizer.

It is only recently that I finally decided to take the plunge to present my works to the public with my album BLUE DREAM (published on December 27, 2014). I wanted to make an extension of this musical period and to transpose it to today, using sequencers and synthesizers as formerly, but with the current instruments and means.

I have a deep respect for the works that were done by Klaus Schulze, Edgar Froese in the 70's. To me, it was a turning point and extremely rich in creativity.

Harald G.: «So give us a glimpse of your equipment. I can imagine that you work, according to the analog technology that has proven itself or how?»

Laurent S.: «Let me first tell you about my musical vision. It is important for me to do music I love, the music that comes from my heart and to finally be able to offer listeners a part of me. It is with great sensitivity that I sculpt the sounds and with rigor and passion that I weave my sound canvas. Although I currently use only virtual synthesizers, for me, it is essential to obtain a true atmosphere with such analogue grain.

In regards to my equipment, I have known three stages. The first, when I was between 16 and 22 years old, where I had an arsenal of analogue machines: PS3200 Korg, ARP Odyssey, Polymoog, Oberheim Two Voices, MS 20 and SQ10 Korg, Vocoder Roland, echo effect RE201 Roland, Crumar Multiman S to name only the main ones.

Korg DSS1 Synthesizer

Then, came MIDI's era.  I separated myself from my instruments for the benefit of digital synthesizers:

Roland JD800 Synthesizer

DSS1 Korg, JD 800 and D110 Roland, TG77 Yamaha, Microwave Waldorf, K1M Kawai, among others, all driven by an Atari STF accompanied by my first software of MAO, i.e.: The Steinberg Pro24.

And finally, today, my equipment consists of many VST's, Arturia's collection for example and Cubase as MAO tools.»

Harald G.: «As you describe, Sequentia Legenda's composition are made up of a combination of atmospheric sheets and melodic lines of synthesizers. Listening to your work, I think I could discern a very clear structure, some agreement, with variations and harmonies, if repeated, but nevertheless, the textures change on a perpetual basis... Personally, I think the adhesion to a specific frequency is very important, however, I clearly give my preference to tone A on 432 Hz compared to listening to a 440 Hz...»

Laurent S.: «I give great importance to frequencies, harmonies, osmosis of sounds, to final varnish. I am a demanding person, I try to get a result that meets my expectations, sometimes it can be very time consuming. As an example, for FLY OVER ME, it took me no less than 16 months to finalize this music piece. My musical canvas is in perpetual movement, the sequences mix, become complex, pads and chorus also "live" and grow throughout the composition.»

Harald G.: «How many tracks do you work on average, and would you agree with me when I say that mastering, done with sensitivity is the alpha and omega of each musical work? What resources do you use to complete your compositions?»

Laurent S.: « I usually work with a variable number of tracks, going up to 16 depending on the projects.

In response to your question about mastering, I would agree with you. Mastering is an important thing, but for me, this step goes hand in hand with the whole process of creation. Of course, it is a goal, but the work upstream remains paramount. Mastering will make it possible to highlight certain elements in a precise way, a patina that will place all subtleties of the harmonic structure in light. For this step, I mainly use Ozone.

Harald G.: «But before we go into more detail, let's look at a subject that may be relevant to some readers: can you tell us which of your works have been published, and where can you buy them? Whether it's by digital download or physical support?»

Laurent S.: «3 albums (BLUE DREAM, AMIRA and EXTENDED) are available for sale directly from my Bandcamp page (Digital version and CDR). The physical version is also available from sales sites such as Patch Work Music for France, sphericmusic and cue-records for Germany, generator for Poland, GROOVE Unlimited for the Netherlands and Diskpol for Spain. In addition, 3 "Exclusive" dematerialized versions are also available on my bandcamp page.»

Harald G.: «Can you tell us where it is possible on the internet to listen or to read something about you?»

Laurent S.: «On my Youtube channel, there are musical samples and interviews in the form of video clips that are available to the listeners. There is also my Blog which is full of often unpublished articles. On the internet and especially on my official website, we can discover and read several columns and interviews, such as the articles by Sylvain Lupari (in French and English), by Jürgen Meurer ( ), Richard Gürtler (Ello), Jim Cornall (DPRP) and the late Philippe Vallin (Clair & Obscur) who left us prematurely and who I miss very much.

This is only an exhaustive list, I would like to add that on the French website Patch Work Music which distributes my physical albums, also include information about my musical projects and those of other talented musicians. I take this opportunity to thank the entire Patch Work Music team for their support and dedication.

Harald G.: «Have you ever worked on projects with other artists?»

Laurent S.:
«My first collaboration was with drummer Tommy Betzler, who immediately accepted and enthusiastically joined the "EXTENDED" project. Tommy, who has a great experience of the Berliner Schule and who accompanied the emblematic Klaus Schulze during his tours in the 80's, gave me the great privilege of this first collaboration. For information, Tommy will be present at my side again for my next album "ETHEREAL", an album whose release is scheduled for mid-2017.

 Just recently, French artist Kurtz Minfields asked me for a collaboration for a bonus track that will appear on his next record. In general my titles have a duration that exceeds twenty minutes. The characteristic of the title "Out of the Silence" is that it is of a short duration. After my first mix, Kurtz (Jean-Luc Briançon) then added some very nice ways of effects and solos. Our two musical universes, he with his analogical instruments and me with my virtual synths, began in symbiosis to offer a title in the purest tradition of the trippy music. I can invite you and all the readers to listen to the final mix here.

Finally, for the end of this year, a collaboration with the Canadian Kutaana Serenity is planned. Again, it's going to be a great experience. With Ron, it's going to be two years since we talk about this project.

2017: a busy year :-)»

Harald G.: «Are you limited to working in a studio or have you ever participated in live performances?»

Laurent S.: «For the moment, I devoted myself to work exclusively in the studio. However, I must admit that the demands for stage performances have always been a little more numerous and more precise. Finally, it is during a festival in Germany in Hamm that I will perform for the very first time on stage at the beginning of July. Tommy Betzler will be delighted to join me for this first climb on stage. I will have to think about a concept, as my configuration is minimal a bit like my music for that matter.
Winnies Schwingungenparty 2017 - Das EM Kultevent ist zurück!!
It's exciting to come meet your audience!
Project to follow.

Harald G.: «I know that your music is very appreciated by many internet radios. Can you list us a few, and have your music been broadcasted on local or national radio stations?»

Laurent S.: «I had the support of several radios, to name a few: Modul303, Radio Sunrise, West Star Radio, Sequences Electronic Music Podcasts, Sine FM. Local for me means France naturally, but also Switzerland and Germany, since I live in the East of France.

So for France, it's the Mulhouse radio MNE via Guy de Villa and its show "Le Bunker" which offered me 2 hours of show with a "Carte Blanche Sequentia Legenda" ( 

For Germany, it is RSD-Radio via the show "New Age" animated by Rainer Tyson Schramke which allowed me to do a live interview in German (

And finally, for Switzerland, I have the privilege of being able to appear in several programs "La Planète Bleue" an Yves Blanc's program, broadcasted on the Swiss waves of Couleur3. Yves Blanc also made me the pleasure to present in preview "EXTENDED" (»

Harald G.: «On behalf of our readers and of our editorial team, I am very grateful that you have given us an insight into the many aspects of your musical creativity. And of course, we are happy to keep our readers informed about your future activities. As usual, the last words belong to you. Is there anything else you would like to add?»

Laurent : «It was a great pleasure for me to be able to share my musical vision, my passion and my emotions through this interview, thank you Harald, thank you to the whole hippiesland team, I wish to readers and listeners a lot of pleasure. 

Sequentia Legenda ETHEREAL

To conclude, I would like to announce that my next album will be available for the middle of this year, it is ETHEREAL. This album will be based on the Modular Moog, with three tracks in the purest tradition of the Berlin School. Two excerpts are already available on my Youtube channel:


Laurent (Sequentia Legenda)

jeudi 4 mai 2017

Mirage : Mon coup de foudre musical !

1980 – un véritable coup de cœur

C'est en 1980 à l’âge de 15 ans que j'ai découvert une musique venue d'ailleurs, une sonorité nouvelle, un monde musical inconnu allait s'ouvrir à moi un peu par hasard.

Parmi toute la collection de vinyles de mes parents, un album en particulier venait d'attirer mon attention. Le look particulier de la pochette m'intriguait. Un style à part, une couverture épurée, un visage, un nom Klaus Schulze, un titre Mirage !

À cet instant, j'ignorais encore qu'en sortant le microsillon de sa pochette
et qu'en le posant délicatement sur le tourne-disque que l'écoute de celui-ci allait changer à jamais ma vision musicale.

Ce fut pour moi en effet dès les premières minutes d'écoute un véritable coup de cœur !

Des sons inconnus, une atmosphère envoutante, un voyage, une révélation.
Oui, ce disque fut pour moi une révélation.

Ce jour-là, je me mis à écouter la face A puis la face B en boucle. J'analysais la structure musicale, la longueur des plages, les sonorités, la pochette, le contenu rédactionnel.
Tout y passait.

Je me rendais quelques jours plus tard chez les disquaires du coin pour trouver d’autres albums de Klaus Schulze.

Autour de moi, je ne parlais plus que de ma découverte musicale.

Ma vision de Mirage.

« Les mirages sont des phénomènes optiques bien réels qui ont lieu dans des circonstances particulières. »

Le sous-titre « eine elektronische winterlandschaft », un détail de la pochette que je n’avais par perçu à l’époque, et que l’on peut traduire par « un paysage d'hiver électronique », reste pour moi énigmatique.

Voici mes explications et mon ressenti.

Face A. Velvet Voyage

Dès la toute première écoute, et malgré ce sous-titre, j’ai au contraire, imaginé des paysages désertiques. Je visualisais des dunes de sable, de la chaleur, le soleil, avec au lointain des réverbérations lumineuses, des mirages. 

Je pensais justement que le titre de cet album était en relations avec les mirages qui sont visibles dans le désert. C’est le Sahara qui à mes yeux pouvait le mieux coller à l’espace sonore de cet album.

Pour moi, dans Velvet Voyage, on entend des échos de voix (celle de Klaus Schulze, je crois bien) qui me font penser à une grande étendue, à l’espace, et, peu à peu (6:20) le titre va se mouvoir vers une ambiance orientale, où je perçois au loin la silhouette d’une caravane se découpant dans l’oranger d’un coucher de soleil. Je sens une chaleur sèche
et envahissante. 

Je tiens à dire que pour ce titre, qui est le plus atmosphérique de cette œuvre, se dégage une des séquences les plus subtiles de Klaus, ça reste juste mon avis personnel bien évidemment. Cette séquence est dans sa phase embryonnaire à 11:00 pour devenir plus amples et plus présente à partir de 13:00. Je trouve que cette séquence sonne « orientale » et qu’elle est le signe annonciateur de ce que va être la face B. Même les premières notes des solos (dès 15:55) sonnant pour moi de façon orientale. Les phénomènes optiques se multiplient dans cette chaleur torride. Je suis englobé par cette chaude sensation et enivré l’odeur du sable. Curieux.

« ... la musique ottomane, la musique arabe ont développé leurs propres systèmes modaux avec des caractéristiques et des règles bien différentes, intégrant des éléments cosmologiques (heure, saison ou lieu pour jouer), moraux (sévère, triste, joyeux, etc.) et esthétiques (gamme ascendante pentatonique et descendante heptatonique... » (Source : wikipedia)

« La forme la plus courante est le mirage chaud, ou mirage inférieur2, qui se produit lorsque la température du sol est très élevée (désert, route goudronnée,…) et donne l’impression d’une flaque d’eau. »
(Source :

La face B. Crystal Lake

Rien que le titre me confortait dans mes idées qu’il s’agissait bien de mirages que l’on perçoit par forte chaleur. Je pouvais aisément m’imaginait au travers de cette fabuleuse séquence les réfractions de lumière se multipliant au fur et à mesure que les lignes séquentielles grandissent.

La chaleur elle aussi s’amplifie, pour arriver à son apogée lorsque les premières notes graves font leurs apparitions. Je perçois à nouveau les silhouettes dans ce contre-jour Saharien et  à nouveau j’entends des sons orientaux avec le début du solo (8:00) me transportant au-dessus du désert. C’est une véritable danse orientale qui s’engage. C’est bon, c’est beau et c'est presque « érotique »… Je dis cela parce que j’aime véritablement ce moment (12:00) c’est précisément ici que je suis littéralement tombé en amour pour cette musique que l’on nomme la Berlin School !

La chaleur retombe peu à peu (14:00), c’est encore plus langoureux, les mirages s’estompent, le soleil baigne de ses derniers rayons les dunes. Les caravanes avancent doucement vers les oasis. Un petit vent soulève (16:00) une douce et fine poussière rougeâtre. La nuit tombe doucement et les étoiles brillent. La couleur pourpre fait son apparition. Les notes (19:00) me font penser à des instruments arabes. Vers (23:00) le lever de soleil annonce une nouvelle journée dans ce désert. À (25:00)
c’est l’orient dans toute sa splendeur ! 

C’est tout simplement BEAU. Je pense à ma femme.

Voici donc ma vision de Mirage, elle est loin des paysages d'hiver, mais proche des dunes du désert, un album de Klaus Schulze que j'aime avec passion.

Musicalement, Laurent Schieber (Sequentia Legenda)

L'album Mirage de Klaus Schulze fête ses 40 ans

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