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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALPHA LYRA: Music for the Stars II (2010)

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

A good album of ambient music with just enough rhythms not to get bored

1 Cosmic Waves 10:20

2 Milky Way 8:01

3 From Myzar to Alcor 12:19

4 Departure to Sirius 8:19

5 The Barnards Star 10:03

6 La Superba 12:59

7 Cygnus X 8:50

(CD/DDL 70:51) (V.F.)

(Ambient Music)

Boys! Do the music of Alpha Lyra has matured! Since 2005, be with the release of Music for the Stars I, Christian Piednoir has surrounded his ambient music of a musical opaqueness as much lyrical as cosmic. An ode to stars, MUSIC FOR THE STARS II is tinted by influences of great American synthesist. Those who like the morphic sweetness of Kevin Brahemy, Michael Stearns' crystal clear arpeggios and Steve Roach's heavy hypnotic synth pads will be delighted by this good album of oneiric tenderness and of a poetic musicality.

From Cosmic Waves' first reverberating waves, one is letting lull towards Alpha Lyra's cosmos. Synth lines sway with a metallic imprint, stifling discreet arpeggios which try to pierce this dense synth nebulosity. Heavy and slow, Cosmic Waves unfolds with an astral gravity, guiding a somber cosmic choir towards a more ethereal passage. This musical bright interval is stuffed with slender synth layers which are enlacing in an oblong cosmic ballet where weak pulsations draw hardly a cadence which won't reach maturity, submerged that they are by enormous morphic strata. Although more aerated, Milky Way stays of blackness and coldness cosmic music. We are hearing there the shooting stars parade among pulsations which feel one's way into an abyssal blackness where choirs and strata interlace in a cosmic oblivion. From Myzar to Alcor, gives the first signs of an animated life. Heavy sequenced chords unfold and wave in loops on the breezes of a hybrid synth which frees sinuous lines and astral choirs. The movement of From Myzar to Alcor gets livening up this astral procession where sequences and synth layers merge in a nice cosmic ballet. Except that sequences are multiplying and dispersing nervously on a musical structure always floating, creating a soft duality which will ease in a cosmos more poetic than somber. A very nice track, quite as The Barnards Star which is a splendid ode for stars starting with a slow movement where limpid chords are dancing. Chords which hop and flutter in an astral sea filled with strata and layers of a melodious synth. It's a splendid track where the dance of sequenced chords recalls Michael Stearns' wonderful cosmic universe in Chronos.

With its long cynical breaths which cross the walls of atony on heavy and resonant breaths from a cosmic synth, Departure to Sirius is intriguing. Sequences are emerging at midpoint They dance and wave in loopy spirals in a world of cold and corrosive reverberations. And the more Departure to Sirius progresses, the more sequences are getting vigor to undulate in a strange cosmic waltz where strata and choirs modulate somber sinuous lines, before releasing their last breaths. La Superba is delicate! By far the most melancholy track on MUSIC FOR THE STARS II with its sad layers of a lonely synth that lulls its dreams to the bottom of the stars. Slow and smooth, you can hear the crystal arpeggios dragging their sighs. They try to form a movement, but they get lost in the melancholy immensity which animates La Superba, another good title which brings us to the depths of ourselves. Cygnus X closes the album with a sequential movement which advances with a wolf's eye in a heavy synth nebulosity. A title in the same line as From Myzar to Alcor and where the scents of Steve Roach perfume this amazing astral procession. Sequenced chords advance hesitantly beyond cosmic streaks and wispy choruses. They trace an uncertain rhythmic whose resonant chords are lost in the depth of the morphic strata. Abyssal strata and choirs which, here and everywhere through MUSIC FOR THE STARS II, stifle a rhythm in constant permutation and which progresses in a universe filled multiple electronic sounds. A universe dominated by the strata and the choirs of a synth as heavy as dreamlike.

What a pleasure to listen to this latest opus by Alpha Lyra. Christian Piednoir surprises with its heavy morphic strata which trap its nascent and emerging rhythms, as well as its crystalline arpeggios which eventually escape of their synth embraces to mold beautiful crystallized melodies. A good album of ambient music, with just enough rhythms not to get bored, while crossing the cosmic plains of artists as influential as Michael Stearns and Steve Roach.

Sylvain Lupari (January 23rd, 2011) ***½**

Available at Mellow-Jet Records

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