Verdeaux, Cyrille - Nocturnes Digitales

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Clearlight888Music
Catalog Number: C8M-102
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:28:00

This is an album that really needs only a one word review, but I'm not sure which one word to use: excellent, stunning, beautiful... I seem to have used them all at one time or another to describe some release or another...and so in some ways, they have lost meaning. Cyrille Verdeaux has created a whole environment with the music on Nocturnes Digitales. Along with the keyboards, a tabla, and violin we get natural sounds - wind, water, chirping birds... As with other Verdeaux releases, the music is designed to do more than just entertain, as in this case "Nocturnes Digitales is created to help the listener reharmonize his/her own energetic biorhythms and resynchronize the patterns of DNA." I don't know if it has done all that for me, but I can tell you that, after a incredibly stressful day at work, listening to this helped ease the tension considerably... "The sounds used by the composer are structured to quiet transient brainwaves of the listener, counteracting the effects of stress and tension," say the liner notes. At least in my case, this is not false advertising. It is very tempting to set aside my work and just sit back at listen, to dissolve into the music. It breathes, and even when things seem still, is till moving. Time is never suspended, but it is slowed down.

This is contemporary instrumental music of the highest order, tapping into the same areas that many artists on the Narada label do, and in many places, remind one of Bach. And if Verdeaux isn't mentioned among the top echelon of modern composers, he should be. You aren't cheated with this album, as most of the tracks exceed five minutes, the longest clocking in at 11:35. That longest track being "Piano Strings," which is a strong but gentle piece, that makes a solid statement without being too sweet. There are moments where the phrasing reminds me of Al Stewart's "Time Passages," but I think it's coincidental. Don Lax contributes violin to "A Piece Of Love," a piece that beings almost elegiacal, but about half way through, brightens considerably into something quite baroque. "Claire De Lune" would be perfect for the cinema, as I can almost see the wide angle panning shot over a broad cityscape - either Europe or an US East Coast city - in the fall, with wind blowing rust colored leaves... The music is somewhat melancholy.

Church-like organs appear in the appropriately named "Ceremony" and in "Orgue A Vent," though in the former, synthesizers take the lead. "Bon sens" is a light and airy piece, with piano phrases that seem to reference "Rhapsody In Blue"...but not completely, as the phrases mostly cascade down, like a waterfall...a feather or leaf rising and falling on thermals... other keyboards create percussive sounds, and a dark, throaty, cello-like tone. After Crying suddenly comes to mind stylistically, and certainly fans of the band will find much to like about Verdeaux...not just because of the use of cello-like sounds. The "Rhapsody"-like phrases are also hinted at in "Agadir," a sublime piece of music. The Bach-like feel is the strongest in "Orgue A Vent," where you can almost imagine hymn like voices singing along, or some processional... the main tone colors are dark, making this almost funereal, though a light flute-like tone runs through it as well.

Included in the liner notes is a history of Angkor Wat, the temple complex in Cambodia, that appears on the front and back covers. And, as with Journey To Tantraland, there is also a multimedia segment that contains Verdeaux's biography, as well the pictures used on his releases. You can obtain posters of these and others at the site.

Regardless of whether you listen to this album for the purposes it was meant, you can't help but be drawn in by it, and relaxed and soothed by it. This is what this style of music should do - sweet and smooth without being sugary and slick. It's beautiful and expressive and is, of course, highly recommended.

Winds Talks (10:08) / Piano Strings (11:35) / A Piece Of Love (5:20) / Claire De Lune (5:30) / Ceremony (8:36) / Bon Sens (8:05) / Agadir (6:00) / Orgue A Vent (7:14) / Melancooly (4:00)

Cyrille Verdeaux - keyboards, composer, rhythmic initiation
Gunnar Amundson - tabla programming (1)
Don Lax - violin (3)

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: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1343
Language: english


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