mardi 9 mai 2023

The "shared" interview with Stéphane Rousset

Here is the first of the series of "shared" interviews.
It is Stéphane Rousset who inaugurates this new section,
he is the one who had the idea of semi-cryptic questions
consisting of one word or a very short sentence.

Sequentia Legenda Berlin School music

Sequentia Legenda: Spirituality?

Stéphane Rousset: I respect those for whom this is central, but I must confess to being ignorant and a tad insensitive in this matter: I do not practice meditation, and I am neither religious nor mystical. I'm quite rational and analytical, like "if it's not measurable, it doesn't exist"! But then, since we're in a musical context, how do I explain the emotions that certain pieces of music evoke in me? I'm not talking about nice little emotions like choruses of ditties that we enjoy humming; I'm talking about really strong emotions, I'm talking about crying when listening to certain crescendos, certain passages, even certain chords. Is it similar to mystical ecstasy, is it a kind of trance? I'm also talking about more serene emotions, those that slow progressions or harmonically rich layers carry within them; AU REVOIR is a perfect example, THE APPROACH too (the layers behind the sequences), Bayreuth Return by Klaus Schulze too.

Problem: none of this is measurable. And yet, I know it and I live it, therefore it exists. Mmm...

Sequentia Legenda: Nature?

Stéphane Rousset: I may be a city boy, I may not know when the beetroot is harvested, but I know and feel the beauty of nature. I can sit on a stone wall in the vineyards of Lavaux, with Lake Geneva below and the Alps in front, and simply soak up this absolute beauty. I can gaze at the Aletsch glacier, doing nothing but feeling its majesty. At the same time, I am deeply saddened to see glaciers disappearing; I am deeply concerned about our blindness as a human species to the climate collapse that is upon us; if I had depressive tendencies, I would be in the deep end. So yes, I've stopped flying since 2018, I've sold my car, I've almost become a vegetarian, I recycle in every sense, and all this without any problem, but the bigger issue is elsewhere: what are we doing about the daily criminal acts of the fossil fuel industry? What are we doing about the fact that our governments are not treating the climate emergency as an emergency?

“And what about music?”, you might ask. Ah yes, well, you didn't know what the word nature would trigger in me...! But if your synths all run on electricity from renewable sources, Sequentia Legenda's music will be all the more in tune with the Universe.

Sequentia Legenda: Trains?

Stéphane Rousset: I have always loved riding trains. I can still hear the clackety-clack of the wheels on the unwelded rails of my childhood. And then between Paris and Lausanne, there was the Trans-Europ-Express, so, ten years later, a Kraftwerk connection (even if my discovery was earlier, with Autobahn).

But I think it was above all this clackety-clack that taught me about sequences, about superimposed loops; because there was not only the clackety-clack of one bogie, there were those of the neighbouring bogies, which were necessarily out of sync and of different tonalities. In short, car bogies were the ancestors of sequencers! And my imagination embroidered on it, grafted loops that didn't exist, added a mellotronic melodic topping, the whole thing evolving in slow motion, in line with the length of the journey.

Are we far from the infinities of space?
Are we far from Berlin? Not so sure.

About Stéphane Rousset: Hello, my name is Stéphane, I live in Lausanne, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva and opposite the mountains of Haute-Savoie (French Alps). I was born here (a long time ago... 67 years ago), it's my home, even if I did my primary school in Paris and three years of university in the USA. I learned physics in Switzerland, electricity and computer science in California, and then I "made a career" in the ICT (information and communication technology) industry, climbing the ladder, and adding three beautiful, now grown-up children to humankind with my wife.

My priority now, my absolute priority, is the fight for the climate emergency, without forgetting my grandson (fifteen months old), of whom I am completely gaga. Climate change is serious, I don't want my mother, my grandson, my relatives to die prematurely during a forty-degree heat wave. But we are driving at 100 km/h into the wall, and it is a hundred metres away (for you Americans, that’s driving at about 60 mph towards a wall 300 feet in front of us). So I act, I really dedicate myself to it.

Music gives me strength, intense emotions and balance, and has done so since I was a teenager. The list of influences would be very long, but without thinking I would say Magma, Crimson, Glass, Stravinsky, Can, Schulze, Floyd, Genesis, Zeppelin, Portishead, Gainsbarre, ah I'm told that I'm running out of time. But I won't be prevented from mentioning Sequentia Legenda, which bathes me almost daily. Thank you to La Planète Bleue / the Blue Planet radio show (one broadcast in 2015)... And thank you to Laurent for enriching the Berlin School in this way, even now.

Beyond the stars Berlin School music

Stéphane Rousset: The place that inspires you?

Sequentia Legenda: For me, nature is the place of all inspirations, allowing me to develop my ideas, to vivify my creativity. Walks amid Mother Nature give me happiness, relaxation and a chance to recharge my batteries. It is a pleasure to hear the rustling of leaves in the wind, to listen to the many birdsongs, to be able to soak up the soothing murmur of a stream, or simply to revel in the timeless purity of silence.

I also like to regenerate and find inspiration in trees and rocks. For example, one of my favourite places is the Taennchel massif, a highly vibratory place not far from my home.

Nature is an invaluable source of kindness and creativity.

Stéphane Rousset: La Planète Bleue (The Blue Planet)?

Sequentia Legenda: La Planète Bleue is an interesting radio programme that is broadcast all over the world and which, in my opinion, is worth a visit. For many years, it has been feeding listeners with a rich and wide range of music, as well as with carefully selected articles. Yves Blanc selects and writes the content of his programmes with great care to offer a qualitative and constantly evolving programme.

As far as my music is concerned, it has been played regularly on this programme, notably at the conclusion of the 999th broadcast with SOLITUDES LUNAIRES (Lunar Solitudes), for which I am infinitely grateful. Yves Blanc also presented a preview of the double album EXTENDED ( Moreover, being present on the collector's CD "La Planète Bleue Volume 9" (The Blue Planet, volume 9) with my track VIBRATIONS was a great consecration for me. It was a pleasure to meet Yves and to discuss with him about music of course, but also about many other subjects.

I take this opportunity to share an article from the luminous pen of Yves Blanc: "Almost all soaring music is made up of three elements: synth layers, sequencer loops... and solos... often very boring, I must admit. Sequentia Legenda has the intelligence and sensitivity to build its music - strictly instrumental - on the first two elements only: the layers and the loops. In his compositions, no dripping solo, no boring solo, but layers of great sophistication, in constant evolution, and loops, also in permanent evolution, sometimes of great complexity, even if they always have the appearance of the obvious.

Stéphane Rousset: Wahnfried or Crystal Lake?

Sequentia Legenda: Without any hesitation: Crystal Lake!
Crystal Lake really means a lot to me. This timeless track by Klaus Schulze was a real revelation, I fell in love with the Berlin School. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my late mother, who allowed me to discover this mythical album of Klaus Schulze, "Mirage". I was about fifteen years old at that time, and I had also discovered new and fascinating instruments for me: synthesizers and sequencers.

I can't count the number of times I have been lifted by the unique and intoxicating atmosphere of Crystal Lake, to experience extraordinary and imaginary journeys. Even today, I still enjoy this universe and I always discover new subtleties. I never tire of it, it is timeless, my whole being is transformed when I listen to it. Looking back, I can say that in addition to the instrumental textures and other sumptuous sonic facets, it was the high precision work of the sequences that fascinated me. The loops generated by the sequencers simply mesmerised me!

And if I were to leave one day for a desert island or another planet and could only take one album with me, it would be Mirage, without any hesitation.

I would like to take this opportunity to share an article that appeared on my Blog:

I thank Stéphane for this beautiful exchange.

Trailer of the next musical opus of Sequentia Legenda :

 ALCYONE Sequentia Legenda - Berlin School music

🙏☀️🙏 ALCYONE is the expression of my Heart and my Soul, it is a sharing from Heart to Heart. I hope that this opus will nourish your dreams, your hopes and will allow you to travel and rise towards a celestial world bathed in a soft and radiant light. This opus is composed of 3 tracks tuned to 432 Hz (Around the Great Central Sun, The Ring of Golden Light, Bon Voyage) plus a bonus (Love feeds Love).

Available from 12 May 2023 in CD pressing and in dematerialized version.

– Love Feeds Love –



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