Clearlight / Cyrille Verdeaux — Rainbow Music: Best of Cyrille Verdeaux 1975-2000
(Clearlight Music C8M-100, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01
From his debut in 1973 with Clearlight Symphony, French keyboardist and composer Cyrille Verdeaux has combined impressionistic soundscapes in the spirit of Ravel and Debussy with progressive rock elements, later adding influences from many cultures around the world. This collection takes tracks from six albums under both the Clearlight moniker and his own name spanning 25 years (now available as a box set called Rainbow Music) and arranges them according to some sort of mystical scheme involving the colors of the rainbow and the auric meanings they have. I’m neither qualified nor inclined to comment on the philosophical aspect of this, but the music should provide enough interest to make such considerations irrelevant, especially if Verdeaux is to reach an audience beyond the New Age community. In retrospect, 1975’s Clearlight Visions might indeed be called New Age music (or a precursor), but for the prog fan, the presence of members of Gong and Steve Hillage’s band provides a connection worth latching onto. Music in this collection ranges from that variety of early symphonic rock to the melodic progressive workout of “Vibrato” from Messenger of the Son/Sun (spelled both ways in the liner notes) to pure New Age relaxation like tracks from Impressionist Musique and Nocturnes Digitales. A recurring theme is the use of environmental noises – burbling water, birds, trains – to accompany the music. The two tracks from Ethnicolor’s (don’t ask me why the apostrophe – that’s how he spells it) feature processed ethnic voices along the lines of Deep Forest. If the tracks were arranged chronologically, they would illuminate Verdeaux’s journey from symph-prog innovator to Euro-techno New Age savant. Or you can just program your CD player to do it for you.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more