While Celer always includes fastidious notes about what has gone into a recording, not least where its beloved field recordings have been gathered, rarely does the duo set out to essay its own semi-realistic version of something specific.
This album, its first on the new Norwegian label Soundscaping Records, is an exception – its title is Pockets of Wheat, on its cover is a picture of wheat bending to the breeze, and the duo´s expressed intent is to mimic the sway of a wheatfield discovered during a stopover in northern Texas.
Always sensitive to the small details of whatever comes its way, the couple became enchanted with the unrelenting song of the vast fields, the tones made by the wind catching the stalks and husks, and the constantly-changing melody of that song.
As usual, Celer muster a large array of instruments and equipment, from cello and piano to recordings of the wind itself, painstakingly creating some one hundred five- to ten-second tape loops which were played back and selected at random. The pair certainly achieve what they set out to do, imitate the drone of the wheatfield. The standing wheat is the constant, like the body of a cello, while the wind is the bow which plays its strands. The music it makes depends literally upon which way the wind blows.
The recording has a slightly atonal chord running through it as leitmotif. In their notes, the duo have excerpted a lengthy quote from a story by Algernon Blackwood, an author famous for imbuing nature with gothic menace. That tone is indeed dark and unsettling. In due time, you become accustomed to it, though, and as it waxes and wanes, you hear how just beyond, texture and colour are in constant flux. In fact, as more time passes, and the “wind” continues unabated, you note that some dramatic changes have occured.
A gorgeous touch indicative of the attention to detail Celer put into its work is the actual wind which can only be discerned when the music goes almost silent for a second or two.
– Stephen Fruitman