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Clearlight Infinite Symphony album cover
4.04 | 71 ratings | 6 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Movement I (10:58)
2. Movement II (8:40)
3. Movement III (12:28)
4. Movement IV (8:45)
5. Movement V (10:56)
6. Movement VI (9:17)
7. Movement III (bonus track - radio edit) (5:47)

Total Time: 66:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Cyrille Verdeaux / piano, synths (Kurzweil 2600, Moog Voyager), composer (excl. 3)

- Peter McCarthy / guitars (1,2,4,6)
- Dan Shapiro / bass (1-4), NS Upright bass (5)
- Shaun Guerin / drums & percussion (1-6), lead vocals (3)
- Didier Malherbe / saxophone (1-2), doudouk (1,6), flute (2)
- Trevor Lloyd / electric violin (1,4,5)
- Hom Nath / tablas (1,6)
- Gene Stopp / Moog modular system (6)
- John Thomas / rhythm guitar (2), guitars 3, classical, lead, slide guitars 5
- Cory Wright / tenor saxophone (3)
- Matt Brown / backing vocals (3)
- Richard Hardy / soprano & tenor saxes (4), flute (4,5), tin whistle (4), tenor & bass clarinets (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Whitehead

CD Clearlight Music - C8M-008 (2003, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CLEARLIGHT Infinite Symphony ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CLEARLIGHT Infinite Symphony reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
5 stars I bought this album one year ago and after a single listen I fell immediately in love with it. But before putting my full score rating I wanted to be completely sure whether it's really passing the test of time. What shall I say? It did greatly, since then I listened to it countless times and my fascination did not lose one bit. Like their first masterpiece "Clearlight Symphony" it's for me one of the very few really great albums in classically inspired symphonic rock. There are (or were) not that many bands being ever able to blend elements from classical, jazz and rock music so perfectly and to involve that many different instruments like flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin and piano in addition to the standard rock outfit to create a true symphonic sound. Actually only CARPE DIEM or MANEIGE come to my mind.

The compositions on "Infinite Symphony" represent the final part of the KUNDALINI OPERA, an extensive work that Cyrille Verdeaux has been working on since a long time and have been released as well under the title "INNER PEACE CONCERTO" within this series. But there he realized them solo on the Kurzweil 2600 synthesizer performing every part to create a modern electronic orchestra. This project consists of seven albums each of them representing one Chakra. On their website it's described like this: "By joining the mystic nature of the Chakras with the poetry of music the opera blends all of the aspects of human existence with blessed nature.towards nirvana". I still did not listen to the rest of the catalog but the few samples I listened to sounded like a mixture of ethnical, electronic, classical and jazz music. Maybe not so much fitting here on this site, nevertheless quite interesting at least for people who are a bit into New Age, meditation and yoga.

This record here which can be listened to without knowing Verdeaux's other work is subdivided into six movements. For maximal enjoyment it should be listened to in one piece of course. Although being mainly keyboard orientated numerous guest musicians like GONG soloist Didier Malherbe, Trevor Lloyd or Cory Wright to name just a few contribute to the sound on multiple instruments. The final result is a unique piece of progressive music that should apply to anyone loving classical AND jazz AND rock music. In addition this record is a part of the legacy Shaun Guerin (passed away July 2003) left to us by adding a touch of Genesis with his voice and playing the drums.

For me "Infinite Symphony" is an awesome masterpiece and I can fully recommend it to folks having a similar musical taste as me. Without any doubt fully deserved 5 stars!

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars Like in discographies of CAMEL/ IQ/ P.Gabriel/ LE ORME/ TOOL etc, CLEARLIGHT's best is their last (for now).Closer more to Classical than to Rock music, Infinite symphony possesses everything Sympho-Prog fan can imagine: long orchestrated instrumental tracks,awesome melodies,excellent musicianship and even occasional Gabrielesque vocals!!! Highly recommended to everyone; it's shame this album is so underrated.It must get more attention.It's true New Classic
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well it has been a long time a comin'. I have always been a huge fan of Forever Blowing Bubbles and Symphony so when a fellow collaborator embarked on a mission of promoting this 2003 release I readily took up the challenge. I have now had this in my possession for a good 3 weeks and dare I say it....a solid 4 Stars. The ony draw back for me are the Symphony melody references which are rife. Comparable say to Mike Oldfield and the Tubular Bells theme but not overtly so. Clearlight manage to create some divine movements particularly Movement III and VI. Their pedigree notwithstanding highlights why these French stalwarts ( mainly) can still embark on progressive delights and with their latest releases and with emphatic vocals too! That says a lot for PM these days where IMHO vocals let the overall genre down. This is a highly recommended release and will not dissapoint both vocally and instrumentally a must have.
Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Infinite Symphony is the last studio release to date of keyboardist/composer Cyrille Verdeaux's Clearlight, a collective of quality musicians that has enjoyed a quiet existence making contemporary progressive music for thirty-five years. Supporting Verdeaux this time is guitarist Peter McCarthy's hot chops, the multi-reed talents of Didier Malherbe, Shaun Guerin's distinct voice (and some pretty phenomenal drumming), and Dan Shapiro's rock solid bass and production. Plus another seven players on various strings, winds, percussion and synths. The work is a six movement symphonic fusion sprawl [chapter 7 of his Kundalini Opera] that takes to the air easily and stays aloft for most of the disc. On a certain level the album does bear comparison to the modern rock-fusion opuses of Isildurs Bane (though not as magisterial), Ayreon (but not as metallic), and Shaun Guerin's own excellent Book of the Dead with k2. A doppelganger for Genesis-era Peter Gabriel, Guerin's singing, though infrequent, is welcome and warms what could have been a chilly record with thoughtful lyrics and a breathy delivery.

And yet, Infinite Symphony is as often void of musical significance as it is filled with worthy material, tending to result in something made to be listened to but not carefully. To be appreciated more for its breadth, romance and stamina than compositional discourse, often slipping into a vast malaise that could be mistaken for easy listening if not careful; each of the six movements satisfying if forgettable yearnings of amethyst worlds, cryptic encodings, and distant time-space travels. Unfair perhaps, and 'Movement l' does pull you in to this flight over a shimmering alien landscape, Trevor Lloyd's electric violin mimicking the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, and is a fine 11-minute introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the session. 'Movement ll' begins flowery, sometimes trivial but still strong and builds to a furious rock finish, 'lll' a further thematic extension getting into some Floyd meets Lamb-period Genesis sounds at a stable twelve minutes. Pan's pipes lead 'Movement lV', Verdeaux straying into Liberace waters and 'V' is absolutely lovelorn with high-handed piano Romanticism and Toto-istic, Dune-like guitar harmonies.

A perfectly good and beautiful-sounding record but in the words of Gertrude Stein on a certain American city, "There isn't any there there", though perhaps that's too harsh an assessment of a rather good bit of music. Let's just say this one can be tossed back in the river till your taste for whitefish changes.

Review by progrules
4 stars The first time I noticed this album was because of the high rating it had at a certain moment in time, it was some 4,71 out of 10 ratings I believe and then for symphonic prog. I mean if it would have been for Zeuhl or extreme prog metal, well in those cases it's most of the time a few fanatics of the genre that all give 5 stars because of that but that doesn't mean everybody will like it but with symphonic prog it's more a case of general prog that almost all proggers could love. So when in that subgenre an album has such a high average rating, I get stimulated to buy it because there is 99% chance we are talking about great music.

When I played it after the purchase for a couple of times I was somewhat underwhelmed by the whole thing because it wasn't as great as I hoped for. But as so often happens in these cases you have to give it some more tries and carefull listenings because it's logic your expectations are huge at first and it's almost bound to be disappointing. So I did that and my enthusiasm grew more and more.

First movement isn't really impressive to me and is probably one of the reasons for my initial dismay and after over 10 listenings I'm still not impressed by it. It's a bit uninspiring and monotonous and will get no more than 3,5 stars if I would rate it. Second movement though is already an enormous improvement and is more or less the counterpart of the first. More energetic, great guitar, more variety, this all combined results in an almost perfect score of 4,75*. Downside is that we've had the best with this one. Third movement was already very familiar to me because it's the great Boat Builder track of the Finnish Epic three CD release from same year as this album, 2003. It's a bit unclear which was first, the song for this album or the epical track for Kalevala. In the booklet of this clearlight album it says: Inspired by the epic Finnish poem Kalevala. But that doesn't prove either possibility, whether the contribution for the Finnish release was first or the track for this album and they leant it to the Finns later on. Anyway, it's almost exactly the same song, the version on this CD is some two minutes longer. It's the first and only of the movements with a vocal contribution. The singing is good (bit like Gabriel) and so is the composition although I don't think it's as good as Movement II (4,25 *).

Movement IV is another instrumental but this time it's with many instruments, like great flute, piccolo (tin whistle ?), saxophones and electric violins and of course guitar and piano. This results in a wonderful almost orchestral piece which is still growing on me with each listening. Second favourite and highlight for me of this very fine album (4,5*).

5th mov is going more or less the same way, also with many instruments but mainly the saxophones are replaced by clarinets. An important difference is that the song on itself is less impressive than previous movement. It's still a very nice listening enjoyment but at this point the weariness starts to creep in a bit because all in all it's a bit much of the same. It's all great music, don't get me wrong but there are a few themes in this entire album and they keep coming back in variations which is on itself not a bad thing, it's even a quite rare and unique concept but it's the small danger that's lying around the corner when playing this disk. If you love what this band is doing it's an unbelievable treat but if the whole sound of the band is not really your thing (like in my case) it tends to become a little bit prosy. This 5th movement by the way is the most classical sounding of the album probably by the prominent violin and piano. Still a pretty good piece of music (4*) 6th and last movement is in my opinion proving the statement from above that it's all been enough by now because this one is summing up a lot of what has already been played, the main theme is prominently there but by now I have had enough in most of the times I listened to it (3,5*) And for those who love this so much they can't get enough of it there is a bonus track of over 5 minutes repeating parts of the 3rd movement once more and there even appear to be a couple of mp3 tracks as well with a demo track and another version of the 3rd movement.

And these movements prove this CD is linked to classical music because there movements are very well known and common as the connoisseurs of classical music probably know. This piece of art can even be called a bridge between classical and popular music and may even be one of the best examples of this in musical history.

For those who have become curious and feel drawn to a piece of music like this, it's higly recommended and I even believe it's an essential album for most and certainly the more serious proggers. Despite of this it's not quite a masterpiece in my book and probably also because it's not a 100% for my personal taste. But 4 stars is the very least it deserves.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Interesting project led by french pianist Cyrille Verdeaux. I heard a lot about his work until I finally got a hand at this CD via Henk (Progrules). I was quite surprised: what was supposed to be a combination of classical music and rock turned out to be a tapestry of difference influences and not much classical music. In fact, most of the time what I hear here is an mostly instrumental record that sounds more jazz rock than prog rock.

Sure there are beautiful moments all over this CD, but not a cohesive feel: some pieces seem completely out of place when put side by side with the others. Sometimes you have a purely orchestrated part that sounded too much like a soundtrack of a Hollywood 40īs movie (movement V) or a Broadway musical. Here and there you can find even some folk, celtic passages. Movement III has some interesting rock moments with a singer that sounds a lot like Gabriel. But the sax solos do spoil any Genesis feeling on it.

The production is excellent as are all the players here. But overall I was not very impressed by it. I grew up listening to classical music all my life and Infinite Symphony does not have much of it. Nice parts that donīt really make up a cohesive whole. My rating: 2,5 stars that I will round up to 3 because of the great musicianship of all involved.

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