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Gonzo Latest News: CLEARLIGHT

Date Published: 25th January 1998


THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  A Taster for Clearlight's Impressionist Symphony
I am getting increasingly fond of Cyrille Verdeaux, both as an artist and as a person. A few weeks ago you may remember that he sent me the unfinished masters of his new album 'Impressionist Symphony'. I was massively impressed and wrote: "...he has finished a series of recordings of pieces of music about French Impressionist artists (including Toulouse Lautrec) and he has been kind enough to send me a set of MP3s from the session. And bloody hell they are good!

I had originally planned to try and give a brief thumbnail portrait of each of the eight pieces of music but found the task beyond me. The music is gloriously lush spanning neo-classical extravaganzas, jazz, little bits of rock and roll, and a surprising amount of bluesey feel.

Highlights to me are the multi-tracked Mike Oldfieldy guitar which keens like bagpipes during the middle section of Pissaro and the glorious oceanic fantasia which is in the tune dedicated to Paul Gaguin, one of my favourite painters who - like Jacques Brel - lived out the final years of his life on the tiny island of Hiva Oa in the French Marquesas islands in the South Pacific. This gloriously sexy but liquid elegy does the man who may have been a syphilitic libertine with a taste for the fruit of the poppy, but was one hell of a painter, proud.

The rockiest track is that dedicated to Renoir, and despite the lush orchestration and manic fiddle rocks like a bitch!"

But despite the fact that I have spent most of my adult life writing about music, I have always found that the only real way to experience something is to hear it for yourself.

I always hate appearing elitest, and feel mildly embarrassed when I write about music that I have got copies of but which I am unable to share with the readers of this magazine, or - for that matter - anyone else. But now I can.

Over Christmas Cyrille sent me this trailer for the new album , writing: "The Impressionist Symphony focusses on the celebration of the wonderful French impressionist painters...This new Clearlight album, composed 40 years after the Clearlight Symphony will be released by Gonzo Multimedia international early next year...Stay tuned ! Happy New Year 2014".

He goes on to write:

1st extract : RENOIR EN COULEURS 0 to 1'46"
Cyrille Verdeaux (Keyboard Kurzweil 2600) Steve Hillage (guitar) Paul Sears (Drums) Linda Cushma (bass) Dider Malherbe (sax) Craig Fry (violin) 
2)- TIme is MONET 1'47" to 3' 05"
Cyrille Verdeaux (Bosendorfer 290 Piano, classic percussions) Paul Sears (classic percussions) Craig Fry (violin), Didier Malherbe (Flute)
3)- PISSARO King 3' 06" to 4'29"
Cyrille Verdeaux (Keyboards) Neil Bettencourt (drums) VIncent Thomas Penny (Guitar) 
4)- DEGAS de la Marine 4'30" to 6' 10"
Cyrille Verdeaux (Piano bosendorfer 290, kurzweil 2600) Paul Sears (percussions, Drums) Chris Kovacks (Lead Synthe) Remy Tran (Cosmic sounds)
5)- VAN GOGH un  6' 11" to 7' 24"
Cyrille Verdeaux (Kurzweil 2600) Steve Hillage (guitar) Paul Sears (Drums) Linda Cushma (bass) Chris Kovacks (lead synthe)
6- LAUTREC too loose 7' 25" to 8' 47"
Cyrille Verdeaux Kurzweil 2600, Drums program) Vincent Thomas Penny (electric and acoustic Guitar)
7)- GAUGUIN comme l'autre 8' 48" to 10'26"
Cyrille Verdeaux (Kurzweil 2600, classic percussions) Paul Sears (classic percussions) Steve Hillage (guitar) Didier Malherbe (Flute) Craig Fry (violin)
8)- MONET time for duo 10'27" to 11'52" 
Cyrille Verdeaux (Bosendorfer 290) Craig Fry (violin)   

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