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Clearlight - Best Of Clearlight (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 14th December 2013

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST204CD
Price: £7.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Clearlight - Best Of Clearlight

CYRILLE VERDEAUX, native of France, was born July 31st 1949 in Paris. In 1963, at the age of 14, he entered the prestigious French National Conservatory of Music in Paris studying composition, harmony and piano. From 1966 to 1968 he won first place in student composition three successive times. During the student uprisings of 1968 he was dismissed from the Conservatory for his revolutionary activities. He then attended the Nice Conservatory earning a Masters diploma, returning to Paris to form the band Babylone with guitarist Christian Boule.

In 1975 Virgin Records released the first album of Cyrille Verdeaux compositions, titled CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY. Clearlight became the first French progressive rock band signed to a major British record label. 

To celebrate the recent release of The Best of Clearlight, Cyrille has been kind enough to go through it for us track by track:

1. Clearlight Symphony part 1 (1974)
In the original vinyl, Virgin decided to put on side A the original side B, for marketing reasons (original side B was the side where Hillage, Blake and Malherbe were playing). 
Now, the order is right and part 1 is the real beginning of the Symphony.
 2. Clearlight Symphony part 2  
Recorded at the cult White Noise studios under Tim Blake's supervision, it was my first experience of recording in a real multi-track studio and I appreciated it so much that I knew I would do that for the rest of my life.... A recording studio (even home numeric recording studio such as the one I used for my latest work on impressionism) is a fantastic space for creativity and I will never be tired of it. 
3. Chanson (from forever blowing Bubbles, 1975)
This song is a music composed by both Joel Dugrenot (ex-bassist of Zao) and myself. Violinist David Cross (King Crimson) plays a great part on this tune and the Northettes (from Hatflied and the North) are doing back ground choirs. Guitarist Jean Claude d'Agostini (RIP) set the song in fire with his chorus and the greek citizen Chris Stapinopoulos plays drums...A great example of European cooperation....
 4. Without Words (from forever blowing Bubbles)
no need for words, as says the title...just for listening....
 5. The Key (Les contes du singe fou, 1976)
 6. Soliloque (Les contes du singe fou)
Originally, this album was the #3 scheduled to be released by Virgin by contract and I wanted this time to do a cosmic opera with a singwe, to alternate styles. The problem is that Richard Branson decided to prematurely end my contract because of my impossibility to live permanently in London as he was requesting. My wife was 6 months pregnant at this time and didn't want to go to live in London, and that caused the end of my English adventure! Richard doesn't like it when people don't obey his wishes, obviously....
But I managed to find a small French label, Isadora, willing to pay for for the recording and Joel Dugrenot helped me to record it in a little parisian Studio. 
I wrote spiritual lyrics in order to try to be useful also on a philosophical level. 
 7. Novanna (Delired Camaleon Family, 1976)
This album is not specifically a Clearlight album but mostly 3 days of improvisations on a recording studio with the pretect to make a soundtrack for Pierre Clementi's movie very "psychedelic" with guitarist Yvan Coiquette. I invited some friends to play on it, he also invited some friends and we ended with a packed recording studio, each recording a track on the spot...Totally "here and now". 
Unfortunately, we had only one day to mix all these tracks together so it has a special charm, different from my other prods....
 8. Spirale D'amour (from Clearlight Visions, 1977)
This album is the first that I have produced from A to Z, including the choice of the studio, the musicians, the musical compositions, etc. Didier Lockwood had just quit with Magma and I could hire him to play his violin. I asked to Didier to come to play flute and sax, and I am proud to say that this album has been selected among the all time 100 best prog albums according to the billboard guide for progressive music.
 9. Trance Pire (Tribal Hybrid Concept, 1994)
During the 15 years between 1980 to 1994 I went in India, studied yoga and made mostly new age music under my name. During these years the music evolved tremendously, came the computers, internet, the samples, etc, giving oppotunity to poor musicians to continue to work at home even without a producer or a label. I had a friend, Pascal Menetrey (RIP) who had everything I needed in his house to make a new album based on samples of natural sounds, ethnic chants or instruments and this is how THC is born...Probably a Guiness book record for the number of samples used in a single album...Several hundreds...
So I call it a tribal progressive album, because this is exactly what it is.
10. Elf Dance, Solar Transfusion, 1998
At this time, I had the luck to have a friend, Patrick Meynier, loan me a 24-tracks that could fit in my bedroom and I could take all the time I needed to record all the keyboards and sample drums tracks of this Solar Transfusion album. When they have been recorded, Patrick booked a studio and we recorded his wife, Genevieve (violin) and some other live instruments on my tracks. I call it a House progressive album.
11. Renoir. Impressionist symphony, 2013)
Originally, this album comes from the idea to make a new album to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the Clearlight Symphony and I asked Steve Hillage, Didier Mallherbe and Tim Blake to redo the winning team of 1974.  This track is just a preview of the future album and will be improved in its final version. For instance, other instrumentists have been recorded since. This album will be released beginning of next year, 2014.

1. Clearlight Symphony
2. Clearlight Symphony pt 2
3. Chanson
4. Without Words
5. The Key
6. Soliloque
7. Novanna
8. Spirale D'amour
9. Trance Pire
10.Elf Dance
Click above to watch video


 Review: Clearlight German review translated


From: Siggy Zielinski

In 2004, living in Brazil Frenchman Cyrille Verdeaux had completed a solo appearance as a pianist at the French Embassy. After that, the ambassador expressed the view just heard was kept in an Impressionist style. This incident has brought the idea to dedicate his next Clearlight album Impressionism in music and painting Verdeaux. Therefore, the compositions of artists such as Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Lautrec are dedicated. But also the music-Impressionists like Ravel, Debussy, Chopin and Satie presented represents a major inspiration
It took a full ten years later, to "Impressionist Symphony" was ready and could be published. That took a long time, partly because Verdeaux as a freelance musician waited again for the opportunity to put to him a nice mate for a few hours a recording studio. As it slowly became clear that 'Impressionist Symphony "on the fortieth anniversary of the publication of" Clearlight Symphony "comes out (in the context means Verdeaux," Clearlight Symphony "was published in 1974), had Verdeaux the same three fellow musicians as then their posts asked about the new album. These colleagues Didier Malherbe hot, Steve Hillage and Tim Blake. But also a musician / interior that were not there to "Clearlight Symphony" as Paul Sears (drummer with The Muffins), Remy Tran (synthesizer), Craig Fry (violin), Linda Cushma (known by Oxygene8, bass) Vincent Thomas Penny (guitar) and Chris Kovax (synthesizer) may help to shape "Impressionist Symphony".
While "Renoir en Couleur" still strongly to "Clearlight Symphony" remembers the composer tries in pieces such as' Time is Monet "in a music that is likely more appeal to the friends of classical music and cause mixed feelings for diehard rock fans. The sweeping piano and the violin jubilant play here namely a leading role. The final "Monet Time duet" even "only" of a violin and a piano contest, while "Time is Monet" also still had synthesizer, flute and percussion to offer. " Monet Time duet "is actually just pure classical music.
With "Pisarro King" you get for an impressive example of polyphonic enormous densely arranged music of Verdeaux, so do not even really notice the played only in this piece tubular bells at the keyboard instruments mehrspurig used and the electric guitar.
It can therefore make two kinds of ideas to "Impressionist Symphony": the highly oriented to classical music and those that would probably expect most of Progfreunde Verdeaux. Finally, can play a lot of first-class classical music, but few can make the keyboard-oriented prog classic, Space Rock, Canterbury and jazz-rock convincing each other, as is the case in better compositions by Verdeaux. Pieces, such as "Degas de la Marine" make it somehow classic and prog a la Verdeaux to unite under one title.
Overall Verdeaux is "Impressionist Symphony" a worthy, in my opinion - even if at times a little more relaxed acting - continued the musical tradition succeeded, which was started 40 years ago with "Clearlight Symphony". But it may well be that the increased attention will trigger to classical music without rock elements in some more skepticism.
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Published on: 04/19/2014
Last modification: 04/19/2014
Rating :11/15

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