dimanche 21 janvier 2018

Fifteen Questions Interview with Sequentia Legenda

The Daydream Sequence

Interviewer: Tobias Fischer 16 October 2017

Sequentia Legenda
17 year old Sequentia Legenda (Laurent Schieber) with her analog equipment.

Part 1

Name: Laurent Schieber
Nationality: French
Occupation: Composer, Producer
Current Release: Ethereal
In terms of musical art, without any hesitation, I would recommend the Mirage album by Klaus Schulze which was, for me, literally my musical trigger. It’s a work that deserves to be listened to several times in order to discover all its riches.
Tons of credit to Klaus Schulze for this album, as well as for his entire career.
In terms of literary art, I can suggest the French writer Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon". It is a visionary narrative, a work that I particularly appreciate.
During my childhood, I read many of his books and escaped far into my imagination.
Sequentia Legenda recommendations

More photos

Sequentia Legenda
Sequentia Legenda (Laurent Schieber) and love at first sight for Mirage by Klaus Schulze.

Tobias Fischer: When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What what is about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
Speech Balloon on Microsoft  Sequentia Legenda: My passion for Berlin School began by absolute chance.
I was only 16 years old at the time. On that momentous day, I discovered an album amongst my parents' vinyls - one that greatly grabbed my attention, especially due to the clean layout of its cover. A blue and green portrait, a title: Mirage, a name: Klaus Schulze. After examining both the graphic and editorial section, I decided to place the stylus on the record player in order to play the first side. From the first few seconds of listening, it was love at first sight - a true revelation.
This was my musical trigger!

What attracted and even intrigued me the most when listening to this masterpiece, was the singular length of the songs, the fact that there were only two titles, the new sounds. The instruments and effects seemed to me to come from a whole new world. I began to listen repeatedly to the side A and B of the album. I started searching for other Klaus Schulze records in the music shops throughout my city. I spoke about the album to those around me, yet very few people knew who the musician was, much less the instrument known as a synthesiser. Shortly afterwards, I was taking music lessons with a teacher who owned a Rhodes, a Solina and even a famous Minimoog.

The solfeggio courses repelled me and quickly, my teacher came to understand that what really interested me was discovering the instrument. It is therefore with him that I discovered how to properly manipulate the synthesizer, as well as began learning sound synthesis - in this case, subtractive.

My parents finally gave in to my insistent requests and they agreed to finance the purchase of my very first monophonic synthesizer. In no time, the room in my parents' cellar became a small Ali Baba cave and many analogue instruments took their place here:
ARP Odyssey, Oberheim Duo Voices, PS 3200 Korg, MS 20 and SQ 10 Korg - to only name the main ones. Speech Balloon on Microsoft

Tobias Fischer: For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? What is the relationship between copying, learning and your own creativity?
Speech Balloon on Microsoft  Sequentia Legenda: As a first step, following the discovery of the Mirage album, I had listened intensively and analyzed the compositions of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream or Jean-Michel Jarre. As a second step, I used the various synthesizers to discover the multiple technical and musical approaches in order to be capable of mastering the different sound syntheses. These were long and exciting periods of experimentation - a genuine learning of sonorous alchemy, a relentless manipulation of the potentiometers, hours of discovery.

At first, I recorded my compositions on tapes using a simple hi-fi tape recorder. Later, I recorded and mixed my work with a TEAC A-3340S 4-track recorder. I was trying to find a sonorous universe that was comparable to that of my models, close to the Berlin School.

My first sequences were created with both the Oberheim Two Voices as well as the Korg SQ10. Often, I would allow myself to go off into long hours of improvisation - sometimes until late at night and always in my parents' basement. This is how my personal style began to develop and little by little, I put my musical structure into practice. At that time, the sequencer already had a predominant position within my compositions.
My own musical vision of the Berlin School began to take shape. Speech Balloon on Microsoft

Tobias Fischer: What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
Speech Balloon on Microsoft  Sequentia Legenda: The main challenge at the outset was finding the "right" sequence, the one that would make me "daydream", the loop that could grow within my composition. Afterwards came the search between the different pads and loops, in order to find the perfect balance and harmony between both said essential elements.

Even today, this work of dosing between sequences and pads is still carried on. I now have a methodology in order to transcribe the sound structure that passes through my head and thus, obtain a usable frame. The work is much the same, however with increased precision and a greater rigor. The sequences continue to remain one of the pillars of my creations and I commit a lot of time to setting up, to the accuracy of the loops and to the notes. 

One of the big differences is that today, I create many co-existing loops that will complement one another, that will become more complex over the course of sound development and will grow together. I attempt to find harmony between the different elements of my music - in terms of volume, harmonics and stereophonic space. I am a demanding individual and at times, these steps can be time consuming. Ultimately, for me, everything is a question of dosage, sensitivity and emotions. When I isolate myself within my own world, I don’t see the time ticking by. Other times, I find myself in the role of a perfectionist and I therefore have to find the energy in order to end such a process and finalize the piece. Speech Balloon on Microsoft

Sequentia Legenda
Sequentia Legenda (Laurent Schieber) in working session for the next album RENAISSANCE.

Tobias Fischer: What was your first studio like? 
How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?
Speech Balloon on Microsoft  Sequentia Legenda: My startout studio was in one of the rooms within my parents' basement. My equipment consisted of analogue instruments, such as the ARP Odyssey, Oberheim Two Voices, Korg PS 3200, MS 20 and SQ 10, a Crumar Multiman S and a Roland RE201 echo chamber.

With the arrival of MIDI, I began transitioning from my analog synthesizers to the benefit of digital keyboards. It was at that moment that I would, for the first time, use software to manage my music - it was Pro24 Cubase installed on my Atari 1040 STF. I could now store my sounds and rework them according to my own will. It was possible for me to edit and save my compositions. It was a true revolution!

Today, I work with synths and virtual effects.
The VSTs allow me a great flexibility of use and I manage to find sounds similar to those of my past synthesizers. I appreciate the Arturia collection, especially the Minimoog and the Modular Moog emulation. Speech Balloon on Microsoft

Sequentia Legenda
Sequentia Legenda (Laurent Schieber) in concert with Tommy Betzler in Hamm in 2017.

Tobias FischerCould you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?
Speech Balloon on Microsoft  Sequentia Legenda: I can gladly tell you about my last album, ETHEREAL.
At the base, I had represented a mystical and very aerial universe. I would describe my compositions as "serious" with a touch of nostalgia.

My intention was to integrate the Modular Moog from Arturia in my work for the first time. Therefore, I began to study the different sound approaches for this instrument. I quickly oriented myself towards the use of the modular, as well as its superb sequencer. Its filters are a source of unlimited creation and with subtle automation, it is then possible to nuance the resonances in order to obtain loops that evolve over time. For the three tracks of this album, the modular and its sequencer were used almost identically. The Formant filter (which did not exist on the basic instrument) was a valuable tool for further diversifying the sound modulations of the loops. The next step was the association between the sequences, the pads and the choir. It is precisely in this phase that the sensitivity, the emotions and the tint of the atmosphere, will magnify.
It is also the most time consuming part.

The compositions of ETHEREAL have been finalized by the mastering varnish, composed of different effects in order to highlight and underline certain details of the soundtrack. Speech Balloon on Microsoft
To the original interview

 Testimonial about ETHEREAL

Somptuous music from my friend Laurent Schieber. Fans of retro and floating EM a la Schulze, you have to get this album from Sequentia Legenda.
Somptueuse musique de mon ami Laurent. Amateurs de MÉ flottante et vintage à la Schulze, Ethereal est un incontournable.
Sylvain Lupari Apr 13, 2017

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