Exposé Online banner

Clearlight — Impressionist Symphony
(Gonzo Multimedia HST214CD, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-08-16

Impressionist Symphony Cover art

This is the latest cornerstone in Cyrille Verdeaux’ ongoing Clearlight project. Those familiar with the original Clearlight Symphony, the more recent Infinite Symphony, and other releases in his vast and ongoing catalog will surely know what to expect: meticulously composed and arranged pieces based on piano and other keyboards, surrounded with rock instrumentation and grand symphonic designs. The eight movements herein are conceptually informed by the paintings and art of impressionist era masters (Gauguin, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, etc.), and although each piece is a standalone recording, the eight fit together in an almost seamless way, the shifting moods and melodic structures evolve through ongoing labyrinthine sections, some parts very bold, others more subtle, all executed with brilliance. Verdeaux lives in South America now, but none of this was recorded there; the basic tracks were scored and recorded in California, then digital sessions for additional parts and mixing were created by producer and engineer Don Falcone of Spirits Burning, who had previously worked with Verdeaux on the collaboration Healthy Music in Large Doses. Additional sessions were recorded and supervised by Verdeaux in France with Didier Malherbe (woodwinds) and Remy Tran (additional synths), in Arizona with Paul Sears (drums) and Linda Cushma (bass and Chapman stick), and in the San Francisco Bay Area with violinist Craig Fry (formerly of Cartoon/PFS), plus additional keyboard parts by Verdeaux, and Falcone adding some tubular bells to one track. Other musicians contributing to the project include Steve Hillage (guitar on several tracks), Vincent Thomas-Penny (guitar on other tracks), Tim Blake (synth and theremin on one track), Chris Kovax (synth on some other tracks). There are a lot of musicians involved, but it all works magically. The final track “Monet Time” is simply a duet of piano and violin, and closes the proceedings with magnificence and splendor.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Didier Malherbe, Steve Hillage / System 7, Clearlight, Cyrille Verdeaux, Tim Blake, Paul Sears

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chrome - Retro Transmission – After a lengthy hiatus, Helios Creed has returned with a new Chrome album. Having never heard a Chrome album before I cannot say if this is representative or not. I can tell you one major influence on...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues