Clearlight (aka Cyrille Verdeaux) is highly respected for his infrequent electronic releases. "Impressionist Symphony" is his first album in several years.
Clearlight's "Clearlight Symphony" and "Visions" albums made Billboard's list of best 100 progressive rock albums.
CLEARLIGHT Impressionist Symphony (CD on Gonzo Multimedia)
This CD from 2014 features 65 minutes of elevating progressive music music.
Clearlight is French synthesist Cyrille Verdeaux. He is joined on this release by: Tim Blake (from Gong) on theremin and synthesizer, Steve Hillage (from Gong and System 7) on guitar, Didier Malherbe (from Gong) on doudouk, saxophone, and flute, Paul Sears (from the Muffins) on drums and percussion, Don Falcone (from Spirits Burning) on tubular bells, Linda Cushma (from Oxygene8) on bass and chapman stick, Christopher Kovax (from Psyquest) on synthesizer, Craig Fry (on violin), Vincent Thomas-Penny (on guitar), Neil Bettencourt (on drums), Remy Tran (on synthesizer).
Fluid electronics, spacey guitar, ethereal woodwinds and nimble percussives craft a delightful dose of electronic music.
The first track interweaves excellent electronics with dynamic piano to generate a dramatic tapestry that is strengthened by astral guitar, waterfall percussives, sinuous violin, and dreamy horns. From the very onset, a level of ambrosial euphoria is achieved and maintained throughout. Layers of a synthetic orchestra infuse the music with a floating symphonic flair that acts as a vibrant undercurrent.
Pensive piano and whimsical flute open the next piece, creating a pastoral mood that is gradually infused with grandeur by powerfully cascading drums and romantic violin strains.
Track three is marked by Blake's signature bubbling electronics. Light-hearted keyboards contribute frolicsome threads. Searing cosmic guitar coaxes everything to a pinnacle that endures through the song, complimented by the other instruments coexistent intensity. Tubular bells enhance the tune's stratospheric finale.
Brass lends a majestic flavor to the next piece, a sentiment that is matched by the nimble-fingered keyboards and guitar chords. The velocity tempers back to a more cerebral pace as the tune explores some romantic sentiments.
Track five continues to reach for high altitudes with spacey guitar and agile electronics, while piano provides a grounding basis with its stately melodics.
In the sixth song, winsome flute conveys the listener into a cloudbank of twinkling piano haunted by an undercurrent of ethereal electronics. Eventually, those electronics muster the substance to become spiraling arcs of playful chords.
Track seven features ascendant guitar accompanying regal piano on a spritely journey to dizzying heights. Demonstrative-but-understated rhythms enter the mix to inject a puissant air into the composition. Acoustic guitar contributes a fanciful flair in tandem with the searing electric guitar chords.
The final piece adopts a more sedately tender temperament with lilting violin and calmly agile piano.
All told, a wonderful blend of classical and progressive music.
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