Verdeaux, Cyrille - Journey To Tantraland

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Clearlight 888 Music
Catalog Number: C8M-202
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:22:00

There's no mistaking that the cover to Cyrille Verdeaux's Journey To Tantraland is anything but sexual. The theme of the music itself is about sexual expression, composed "to be used for massage therapy as well as love making." How well it is suited to at least the second of those two tasks, I won't tell you, as I shall leave that to you to explore on your own. The photograph that is on the cover is of Men-An-Tol-A, "a neolithic fertility site located in England." The album was originally released in 1984, and was re-released in 1999 as part of the Kundalini Opera set of 6 CDs. This is a 2001 edition of the same album.

Whereas most album liner notes tell you who played what, when it was recorded, etc., this also gives you additional information, such as the associative color (orange), element (water), gemstones and minerals (Carnelian, Coral, Gold calcite, and others), and more, include the "Musical-Vibration Keynote, which is D above middle C. Throughout the booklet are photographs of illustrations and sculptures, all depicting the act of lovemaking. In addition, there is an essay on the practice of Tantric sexuality, written by Eridan.

The album begins with a sound that I can only describe as a spaceship approaching. It has nothing to do with the theme, of course, and the resultant image certainly won't put you in a relaxed or romantic mood, but there is a low rumble that gets louder and louder until a bubbling, stereotypical UFO sound emerges... the gives ways to undulating ribbons of synths. As if you are in a state of suspended animation. There is a certain tone, modulation, that continues as a steady is like the ambient noise we "hear" in absolute, rather like the noise I "hear" when in absolute silence (which is rare as I live near a freeway).

While each of the albums 7 tracks are a separated by a break (as is usually the case), they just as easily could have flowed into one another. That is not to suggest they all sound alike, exactly, but Verdeaux seems to have one pattern in which certain sonic elements are emphasized in one part and de-emphasized in another. There are additional textures added or subtracted as needed. Verdeaux plays synthesizers and other electronics and is joined by Dallas Smith on bamboo flute and lyricon. Each piece is about 6 minutes long, a few come under this timing, and many exceed it -- the total playing time is 60 minutes. The longest segment by far is the 17-plus minute "Meditation Lyicon."

"Moraga Hall" adds some light, wispy accents of sound -- not quiet tinkling, but that is the word that is closest to describing what you'll hear. Every once in a while, the bass tones become a little agitated and stir and bubble, subside, stir again, subside...a pattern that repeats itself. It all serves to give you an undulation that is both forward moving and laterally moving -- you are buffeted as you are gently carried along the soundstream -- darn if I don't think of the long lost Disneyland ride A Trip Through Inner Space (frankly, it was my favourite ride).

Chirping birds are added with "Flute-miroir" ...we've emerged into a peaceful, green, lush sanctuary. Along with flute are some harp-like sounds, rainbowing up and down. We also get some interestingly shimmery keyboard textures -- like leaves falling to the ground, or streamers rising up in the air. Either image seems apt. It ends as it begins, as we are transported out of this garden into the unknown.

"Flying Carpet" opens with a lyrical piano-like phrase from Verdeaux and a bit of flute from Smith - it has that sunshine after a storm kind of feel -- the sun has come out and is glinting off everything. Um, yes, one word that comes to mind is afterglow. Whatever release was been sought, either sexual or just tension, has been achieved. Peace and calm have returned, balance has returned. In comparison to much of what precedes it, the arrangement is more open, freer -- we are a bird on the wing or that fluttering streamer set free to go where it will.

Aside from the aforementioned uses, one can simply play this CD and provide a relaxing atmosphere. While I don't suggest it be used as merely background music, one can exercise their mind while relaxing their body.

This is an enhanced CD, where the multimedia content gives you a written bio of Verdeaux, told in own words, while a piano piece plays in the background. There is also a section that includes for small pictures that have been (or will be) used on Verdeaux album covers, with a link to the Clearlight Music site to view more. And a link to the site Clearlight Music site. Regarding the pictures, the expectation is that by clicking on the photo, you will get a full screen view, but that is not the case. These are beautiful photographs that deserve to be seen at a larger scale.

Shambala (9:46) / Rainbow Bubbles (6:28) / Journey To The Center Of The Head (9:47) / Moraga Hall (5:45) / Flute-miroir (4:53) / Meditation Lyricon (17:04) / Flying Carpet (6:36)

Cyrille Verdeaux - synthesizers, electronics, and composer
Dallas Smith - bamboo flute, lyricon

Clearlight - Symphony (1973)
Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles (1975)
Clearlight - Delired Cameleon Family (1974)
Clearlight - Les Contes de Singe Fou (1977)
Clearlight - Clearlight Visions (1978)
Offrandes (1980)
Nocturnes Digitales (1980)
Prophecy (1981)
Flowers From Heaven (1983)
Piano For The Third Ear (1983)
Journey to Tantraland (1984/99/2001)
Complete Kundalini Opera Box Set (6 cassettes) (1984)
Messenger Of The Son (1985) Rhapsody For The Blue Planet (1988)
Symphony II (1990)
In Your Hands (Les Contes de Singe Fou) (re-recording, 1994)
Impressionist Musique (1995)
Tribal Hybrid Concept (1998, w/Menestreyl)
Ethnicolours (1998, w/Menestreyl)
Best of Rainbow (1999) (sampler of box set below)
Complete Rainbow Box Set (1999) (6 CD's )
Aerobix 99 (1998)
Best of Kundalini Opera (1999) (sampler of box set below)
Complete Kundalini Opera Box Set (1999) (7 CD's )

Genre: Electronic

Origin FR

Added: August 16th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1215
Language: english


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