SEQUENTIA LEGENDA: Codex on the Flight of Birds (2019)
Updated: Mar 5
“This is a very good album with 3 evolving titles which are like fresh breezes in the heat wave”
1 Leonardo's Flight 29:06
2 Helix Pteron 15:46
3 Grande Nibbio 10:48 (Bonus Track)
(DDL 55:40) (V.F.)
(Minimalist, New Berlin School)
A buzzing exposes filaments of distortions and twists full of reverberations that create jerky momentums, building a rhythmic illusion that is lost in these benches of cosmic mist that radiated over the works of Klaus Schulze, era Inter*Face to Miditerranean Pads. We still need to draw a parallel between Sequentia Legenda and Klaus Schulze? Yes… Very comfortable in his musical cocoon, Laurent Schieber only comes out to weave his long minimalist works where everything evolves with the parsimony of subtlety. This time, the French musician scrutinizes the more contemporary horizons of his childhood idol by flirting with his tones from the 80's to 90's. And it's inspired by a codex of Leonardo da Vinci, that CODEX ON THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS has been conceived. A very good album with 3 evolving titles which are like fresh breezes in the heat wave.
The mystical mist spreads its metallic blue mantle which turns into lunar orchestrations. There are still flutters of distorted tones when sequenced beats sculpt the slightly jerky rhythm of Leonardo's Flight. This first repetitive rhythmic movement evolves with fine nuances in the permutation of the sequenced keys which frolic with different hues and heights, both in sound and in rhythm. Tickings, or clickings, get stuck to this ascent with brighter and resonant tones, giving that sweet impression that the rhythm is increasing in intensity when it's indeed linear. It looks like these electronic glockenspiels from the Audentity and Dziekuje Poland period of Klaus Schulze along with Rainer Bloss. In doing so, Leonardo's Flight aptly portrays the desires, like the restraints, linked to the fear of Leonardo who would like to fly. Laurent's goal is reached right on target with this long opening that lulls our ears already captivated by this title. The pace is jerky and regular like a rhythmic clock. The thickness of the layers of mist is like a dense cloudbank that hinders any attempt to fly. We drift towards an ambient phase around the 11 minutes. The mist is almost lyrical with its thick asthenosphere where there is a big nest of distortions and pent-up impulses, like in the opening, which swallows precious minutes to the title which takes on more and more the appearance of a psybient phase nourished of static elements. These elements form sound hoops whose echoes collide in order to structure saccades and stroboscopic effects. The rhythm returns 5 minutes later. This time, percussions serve as rhythmic proteins while the sequencer reminds us of the PTO movement, but with a more contemporary vision. Another moment of mist and Leonardo's Flight is just a memory. But what a beautiful memory!
Helix Pteron was also born of tumult. Orchestrations and symphonic arrangements of an orchestra adjusting its strings cover a slow introduction where the cymbals sing, and the pulsations resonate. Percussions (is there a drummer in the studio?) and keyboard riffs already capture the nascent rhythm which progresses like Leonardo's march, but with a more theatrical heaviness. The principle is the same, ie introduction and interlude of orchestral mist between two phases of minimalist rhythms. But we love it! It's a good title, quite surprising even, showing a new tangent of Sequentia Legenda which gives more musical space to the drums. Grande Nibbio is a bonus title on CODEX ON THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS. And even if it's not linked to its history, its musical DNA is almost identical to this approach, which is more nervous here, of finely jerky rhythm of Leonardo's Flight. No ambient opening, but pure rhythm that sparkles and hops until dissolved in the ethereal mists of its finish.
Are you a fan of Sequentia Legenda? Of Klaus Schulze? Minimalist music with a delicious rhythmic inclination? CODEX ON THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS is a very beautiful album that will meet your expectations. Synth solos, and the adventure would be even more exceptional.
Sylvain Lupari (January 15th, 2020) ****¼*
Available on Sequentia Legenda Bandcamp