Friday, February 2, 2007

Bernard Xolotl & Cyrille Verdeaux - Prophecy, LP, 1980, France

French keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux studied at the Conservatory of Music in Paris (1964-68) and at the Conservatory of Nice (1969-72). In 1973 he formed the band Babylone with guitarist Christian Boule`. He then assembled a few members of Gong (Steve Hillage, Tim Blake, Didier Malherbe) and some old friends (Christian Boule`, Gilbert Artman) to record the Clearlight Symphony (Virgin, end of 1974), released under the moniker Clearlight. This lush electronic and symphonic work was one of first to continue the mission of Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece and Tonto's Expanding Head Band. Forever Blowing Bubbles (1975), performed by a broader ensemble, was a more conventional collection of songs, heavily influenced by the presence of King Crimson's violinist David Cross and by guitarist and flutist Jean Claude d'Agostini and Zao's bassist Joel Dugrenot. The instrumentals (Without Words, Way, Ergotrip, Et Pendant Ce Temps La) are almost as good as the previous symphony.
Delired Cameleon Family (1975) was the soundtrack for Pierre Clementi's one and only movie "Visa de Censure n*X",
Les Contes Du Singe Fou (1977), later re-recorded and re-issued as In Your Hands (Musea, 1994), is a metaphysical piece that features Tim Blake, jazz violinist Didier Lockwood, bassist Joel Dugrenot and vocalist Ian Bellamy (the three-part suite Time Skater).
Verdeaux self-produced Visions (Polydor, 1978), the fourth Clearlight album, which featured a small orchestra comprising rock (Didier Malherbe, Steve Hillage, Christian Boule), Indian and jazz musicians (violinist Didier Lockwood), and marked a return to purely instrumental music (with a minor exception). The four longest suites are also the most significant. Spirale d'Amour and Messe Caline predate new-age music with their languid, calm lakes of chords, whereas Full Moon Raga and Shanti Lotus strike a magic balance between western and eastern classical music.
At this point Verdeaux abandoned the Clearlight moniker and began recording under his real name.
At the border between classical and new age music, Verdeaux recorded in California the electronic chamber music of Offrandes (Fortuna, 1980) and the Nocturnes Digitales (Fortuna, 1980) for keyboards, tablas, violin and natural sounds (Winds Talks, Piano Strings).
Prophecy (Fortuna, 1981) was a collaboration with electronic musician Bernard Xolotl.
Upon returning from a sojourn in India, Verdeaux released Moebius (Soundings of the Planet, 1982), Shambala (Soundings of the Planet, 1982) and Messenger Of The Son (Catero, 1983). The latter balances pomp (Overture) and dynamics (Vibrato), the religious (Full Sun Raga) and the ethereal (Astral Journey, The Key Of Enoch).
Kundalini Opera (2004) is an ambitious seven-CD concept album that began with separate album releases, starting with Kundalini Opera (Eurock, 1984). As completed in 2004, it is an ambitious seven-CD concept album, ranging from the solo piano sonatas of Piano for the Third Ear to the Tangerine Dream-like "kosmische musik" of Journey to Tantraland (1984), that features Dallas Smith on flute and lyricon (and that offers ((Shambala, Journey To The Center Of The Head). Its seven one-hour chapters, that aim at reharmonizing the seven chakras, are: Ethnicolours, Journey to Tantraland, Solar Trancefusion, Flowers from Heaven, Rhapsodies Pour la Planete Bleue, Piano for the Third Ear, Inner Peace Concerto. Best of Kundalini Opera is a selection.
After this opera, Verdeaux recorded sparsely: Rhapsody for the Blue Planet (Emen, 1988), with Creation Synthetique, and Symphony II (Mantra, 1990), a timid follow-up to his masterpiece that belongs more to new-age music than to progressive-rock.
Ethnicolors (Clearlight, 1998) and Tribal Hybrid Concept (Clearlight, 1998) are collaborations with ethnographer Pascal Menetrey, who adds third-world rhythms and chants to the former and samples Inuits, Papoos, Tuvas, Ethiopians and Kurds as well as animals facing extinction on the latter.
Rainbow Music (Clearlight, 1999) is a 6-CD anthology of 25 years of recordings.
Aerobix 99 (Clearlight, 1998) is a soundtrack for aerobic exercise.
Infinite symphony (2003) marked a return of the legendary Clearlight.
Impressionist Musique, whose recording began in 1995, is still unreleased.

Electronic composer Bernard Xolotl was born in France in 1951. As a teen, he was introduced to electronic music through the works of musique concrète composers like Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer, although he found the early recordings of Pink Floyd to be much more inspirational; he left home at age 17 to travel the world, along the way befriending figures including Klaus Schulze, Terry Riley, La Monte Young and Manuel Goettsching. During the early 1970s Xolotl began creating music of his own, working in studios across Europe and the U.S. before settling in California in 1974; there he slowly built his own studio, two years later making his recorded debut with Music by Xolotl. Journey to an Oracle, a collaboration with Bernard Largounez and Jean Baptiste Barriere, followed in 1978, while for 1980's Prophecy Xolotl teamed with Cyrille Verdeaux. Return of the Golden Mean followed, and in 1983 he completed work on Procession; with Last Wave, Xolotl — long associated with his work on the guitar synthesizer — expanded his musical palette to introduce the Yamaha CS60, the PPG Wave 2.2, the Korg Monopoly, the Pro-One, the ARP Sequencer and vocoder. After a long absence from recording, he resurfaced in 1991 with Mexecho; Tristany followed in 1997.


Tara Tortuga said...

no comments on this one? +++ thank you much (and for your later Xolotl posting as well)

I am not Kek-w said...

This is a really great piece - nice work!

Anonymous said...

Hi mutant... your blog es necesary hi like your colection

Anonymous said...

Nice post. It would be wonderful if someone somewhere could post Piano for the Third Ear, Shambala, Messenger of the Son, Kundali Opera, Rhapsody for the Blue Planet, Ethnicolors, Tribal Hybrid, Aerobix99, Nocturnes Digitales, Inner Peace Concerto, I Will Remember You, shamballa (a journey to the crystal world). I have Symphony I and II, Forever Blowing Bubbles, Visions, Prophecy, Infinite Symphony, Delired Chameleon Family, Les Countes du Singe Fou, amd Mosaique. ANYONE????

Anonymous said...

thanx from urkenny

never heard this one before