Sumer is Icumen In


Sumer Is Icumen In is Quentin Thirionet's (Dhavali Giri, Pairi Daeza) debut album. Still, his musical escapades are vast and varied, based almost entirely on improvisation and live recordings, of which he occasionally distributes tapes without further information. Elusive to categorization and identification, unwilling to fix his musical activity under a stable pseudonym, his projects have ranged from gypsy jazz guitar swings, French traditional songs from Auvergne, and various experimental collaborations. Increasingly closer to electronic instrumentation, he crafted Maibaum, his first ever solo output. As the title goes, this may be a maypole on which his multicolored sonic visions spring about.

Former rope access worker and currently a farmer of organic greens, Thirionet lives up to these lines of work as a musician. He assembles precisely what seems like a subtle balance between high manmade structures and soft fertilized soils; a high voltage pylon placed in a biotic landscape. It's all an even blend, spontaneous and steady, but this contraption comes from profound considerations. "I chose these tracks among many others," says Quentin, "because I heard the melodies all the time in my mind, and because I cried while playing them without really understanding why."

Armed with nothing more than a blackbox, a sequencer, a freeze pedal, and a tape player, Thirionet orchestrates a vivid rite of polished futures. At times reminiscent of Hans-Joachim Roedelius' enveloping arrangements, Maibaum's ambiances rely on mild repetitive patterns subsequently textured by prickling sprouts, mechanic dislocations and revamps that stoke and brighten the stirring motions. Jim O'Rourke's I'm Happy and I'm Singing comes to mind in terms of its detailed and prismatic nature, but Sumer Is Incumen In has its particular narrative. It's a tale of regeneration, of spring's delicate procedures and allure, a celebration of gracious and fortunate junctions between nature and machinery.

The album unfolds like a massive engine being made flesh to drift along the ether of a sultry land. The terrain turns pleasant and fertile in the title track; the colors and melodies of May start to unravel. Chromatic columns rise and define the scenery's depth of field breeding a synesthetic stream between crystal lights and warbling organisms. Grande Albero Buono Magico Uoma's brisk kaleidoscopic arpeggios sound like scanning a tree's litmus foliage. Then Ciguri takes us back to the foggy swamp of the beginning but is suddenly lit by an insect’s labyrinthine roundabout. The Jeweled Grid is a poem Quanta Qualia's lustrous metallic voice recites as a report of the album's phenomena. "Shiny revelations jump out. Pearls of thought flicker about." Images from within that distill to swirl around among us. The thicket dissolves as the album concludes calmly in Le Concept De Chien N'aboie Pas. Swaying under sieved solar light, leaves and branches tingle until the winds grow weak. All the warm creatures gathered along the way, and all those who danced around the maypole's splendid equilibrium now withdraw, folding up small to foster rebirth once again.

- José Badía Berner

Release Date: 02-07-2024
Artwork by Tomás Dittborn
Co Published by Psychic Sounds, Nonlocal Research
Design by Tomás Dittborn
Limited edition of 300
Mastered by Matthieu Reynaud
Mixed by Nicolás Carcavilla
Music by Quentin Thirionet

A1 Esprit Des Points

A2 Ether Noster

A3 Sumer Is Icumen In

A4 Slumil K’ajxemk’op

A5 Grande Albero Buono Magico Uoma

B1 Ciguri

B2 Tellequed’ellememe

B3 The Jeweled Grid (feat. Quanta Qualia)

B4 Pouvoir Du Dedans

B5 Le Concept De Chien N’aboie Pas

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