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CLEARLIGHT (CYRILLE VERDEAUX) - BEST OF CLEARLIGHT 1975-2013 (2013 COMPIALTION)

Product Format: CD               ** Regular Stock Item **

Price: £13.33 (exc) £15.99 (inc)

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Assembled in 2013 prior to the release of ‘Impressionist Symphony’ this 2014 collection is a fine insight into the music of this French keyboardist / composer!

Cyrille Verdeaux is a native of France and was born on 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 help describe the tracks selected for this release, Cyrille Verdeaux has been kind enough to go through it track by track:

‘Clearlight Symphony - Part 1’ (1974): On the original vinyl LP, Virgin decided to put on side A the original side B, for marketing reasons (original side B was the side where Steve Hillage, Tim Blake and Didier Malherbe were playing). Now, the order is correct and ‘Part 1’ is the real beginning of the Symphony.
‘Clearlight Symphony - Part 2’ was recorded at the cult White Noise studios under Tim Blake's supervision. This 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 the 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 tire of it.
‘Chanson’ (from ‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ - 1975): This is 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 HATFIELD & THE NORTH) are doing background 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!
‘Without Words’ (from ‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ - 1975): No need for words, as says the title... just for listening...
‘The Key’ & ‘Soliloque’ (from ‘Les Contes Du Singe Fou’ - 1976): Originally, this album was the 3rd 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 called Isadora that was willing to pay 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.
‘Novanna’ (from ‘Delired Camaleon Family’ - 1976): This album was not specifically a CLEARLIGHT album but mostly three days of improvisations in a recording studio working under the pretext to make a soundtrack for a Pierre Clementi movie. It is very "psychedelic" with guitarist Yvan Coiquette featuring.
I invited some friends to play on it and he did the same and we ended with a packed 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, and different from my other productions.
‘Spirale D'amour’ (from ‘Clearlight Visions’ - 1977): This album was the first that I had produced from A to Z, including the choice of the studio, the musicians, the musical compositions, etc. Didier Lockwood had just quit MAGMA and I could hire him to play his violin. I also 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 music albums according to the billboard guide for progressive music.
‘Trance Pire’ (from ‘Tribal Hybrid Concept’ - 1994): During the fifteen 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 - in came computers, the Internet, samples, etc, giving the opportunity for poor musicians to continue to work at home even without a producer or a label. I had a friend, Pascal Menestreyl (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 was how ‘THC’ is born...Probably a Guiness book record for the number of samples used in a single album...Several hundred in fact... So I call it a tribal progressive album, because this is exactly what it is.
‘Elf Dance’ (from ‘Solar Transfusion’ – 1998): At this time, I had the luck to have a friend (Patrick Meynier) who loaned me a 24-tracks that could fit in my bedroom, so I could take all the time I needed to record all the keyboards and sample drum tracks needed for the ‘ST’ album. When these had been recorded, Patrick booked a studio and we recorded his wife, Genevieve (on violin) and some other ‘live’ instruments on to my tracks. I call it a “house” progressive album.
‘Renoir’ (from ‘Impressionist Symphony’ - 2013): Originally this album came 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 recreate the winning team of 1974. This track was just a preview of the album and was to be improved in its final version. For instance, other instrumentalists have been recorded since. This album was released in early Spring of 2014.

Also available in this CLEARLIGHT series…

‘Clearlight Symphony’ CD - Stock # 1690853
‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ CD - Stock # 1690847
‘Impressionist Symphony’ CD - Stock # 16867343
‘Tribal Hybrid Concept’ CD - Stock # 1690848
‘Healthy Music In Large Doses’ [with SPIRITS BURNING] CD - Stock # 1581000


CLEARLIGHT: BEST OF CLEARLIGHT 1975-2013 Track List:

01. Clearlight Symphony – Part 1
02. Clearlight Symphony – Part 2
03. Chanson
04. Without Words
05. The Key
06. Soliloque
07. Novanna
08. Spirale D'amour
09. Trance Pire
10. Elf Dance
11. Renoir