Product Reviews

Product: Clearlight - Impressionist Symphony
Date: 2014-05-14 

Impressionist Symphony

Clearlight Impressionist symphony

Gonzo Multimedia 2014 FRA 

The background tells him there in the back-cover Cyril Verdeaux in person, always soul of Clearlight, a project that was born on records in 1973 with the critically acclaimed "Clearlight Symphony" album initially accredited as a project of the same Verdeaux and from which it will stretch a little later the name of the band as we know it now. In 2004, our keyboard player was giving a concert for solo piano at the French Embassy, ​​and so it was that the ambassador congratulated Cyril telling him he had a style "impressionist". From here, therefore, the idea of composing a work that was inspired the Impressionists. The dream became a reality when Cyril, who went to California to record tracks for the project Spirits Burning & Clearlight, was able to enlist the help of Don Falcone, with whom he proceeded to pick up the sound contributions of friends scattered here and there around the world and mix the final result thanks to an efficient home studio. As it did forty years earlier for the debut album, this new album Clearlight signed again sees the participation of the trio composed by Didier Malherbe Gong, Steve Hillage and Tim Blake; about the other artists recruited mention other excellent attendance as drummer Paul Sears (The Muffins), the bassist Linda cushma (Oxygene8) and the same Don Falcone playing tubular bells in a song and entrusted with mixing and production. 

Rather than audio description of these eight songs some paintings seem to play the rapture that comes from contemplation of the paintings of Renoir, Degas and Monet using the language of progressive rock, here declined with a style deeply marked by the romanticism of classical music (Cyril indicates between its cardinal points Satie, Ravel and Debussy), especially with regard to the piano, contaminated by electronic elements, rock, new age and space. Anyone familiar with the works of Verdeaux know that I'm not writing anything new. The link with the past works, and especially with the onset, we perceive everything, although in that case the colors of the synth sounded more vintage and now it has been given more emphasis to the orchestral tone.That flavor relaxed, almost meditative and therapeutic strongly imprinted on these tracks instead most likely comes from the next "Kundalini Opera", a series of albums in which Cyril sought to unite the music of the nature of the Chakras. 

In short, the artist seems to have put in here all what he has sown during his career, with love, kindness and passion. The various components are mixed with great balance, "Renoir en Couleur" for example, the opening track, makes its way into a progressive, gradual crescendo of classical motifs, embellished and enhanced by the majestic echoes cameliani violin Craig Fry, an excellent musician of academic backgrounds. Hillage's guitar provides a thin but sturdy innervatura rock while the soprano recorder, and especially the doudouk, wooden flute of Armenian origin, offer the delicate ethnic connotations. We find then a few drops of psychedelia to tarnish a bit 'sounds so much romance and sometimes even seems to flow into the New Prog. In "Time is Monet's" The flute has a touch of Celtic while piano and violin melodies draw large and elegant. In this passage, the choice to use percussion to classical matrix is very well chosen and gives the wide-ranging piece that is definitely relaxing. Instead, in "Van Gogh 3rd Ear" by Paul Sears battery seems all too brief, especially in relation to the grace of music and piano in particular that emerges gently from one ocean to the synth. With regard to electronic elements, scattered 'throughout this album, but always with caution, in "Pissarro King" seem almost the variegated patches of color that explode then like tongues of fire in the night sky while the tubular bells give it a sparkling in this track that instills feelings joyful and positive. In "Degas de la marine" the atmosphere is solemn, almost mystical at the same time grand and baroque. Sampling of the trumpet are intertwined in a thousand coils with the plan and accompanying piece in a slow metamorphosis that seems to accompany the listener like muffled by the darkness of a cathedral to the smells and the lights of city life outside. In this brief review I will finally remember the closing track, "Monet Time Duet," a poignant dialogue between the piano and the violin, from delicate melodies and meditative, very effective in its simplicity. 
Surely this is a welcome return of Cyril " Clearlight "Verdeux that gives us a well-balanced work which shines in all his knowledgeable experience. Missing a bit 'strong emotions and sometimes it all seems almost too measured, perhaps the fault of the remoteness of the musicians who interacted only virtually, but I believe that this sense of serene grace, pure contemplation is not tarnished by feelings too strong, now falls in the DNA and the vocation of the artist whose music will also want to embark on an inner journey to which the listener might join willingly letting go the positive sensations offered by this album.
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