Stasis is an exciting musical tool. If used in the best sense, stasis is what makes ambient music connect to the that place where mind, soul and heart of the listener connect and starts to vibrate there. Maybe this is the reason, why a lot of people like to fall asleep to ambient music of this kind, and to give you a little glimpse into my private sphere, there is a special stack of CDs that are all collected for the purpose of supporting a gentle slide into slumber. I like sleeping a lot, by the way (another glimpse into my privacy for you – seems as if I am laying my bare soul open to you here…) because it is cheap, refreshing and provides good health. But sleeping is not the only static motion there is. Watching a swarm of little insects that move in wild, erratic and unpredictable moves but nevertheless the whole swarm seems to stay put over a certain place. The endless instream of waves at the beach. The endless hum of cars on the motorway, especially at night, looking down from the eleventh floor at the traffic below.
Celer use nothing but one analogue synthesizer and a mixing board to open up a single wave of sound, which nevertheless opens into a multitude of layers once you have immersed yourself in them, that flow gently and almost without movement from the back to the forth and back again in your mind. There is a reason they recommend headphones and low volume. It seems as if nothing at all is happening most of the time. As if time itself stands still and there is no tomorrow to come. Even though there are a couple of specifically named titles on here, it does sound like one big track of echoing and flowing sound. One hour of tranquility of this kind helps me to re-charge my energy levels for another week of stress, toil and schedules. Leaning back, feeling the soft wind around my head, the sun on my clothes, the sounds of a distant church bell and of somebody working in the kitchen through the headphones, is just a perfect moment. Thank you, whoever contributed to it, from Celer to the people near and distant and finally to nature itself for adding a constant hum and rustle. (no thanks go out to the Austrian airforce who likes to use Sunday noon for training flights…)
There is a tragic story to Celer, which I thought about leaving out of this review, as it may seem like I am trying my first steps into low brow writing and sensational journalism, but which cannot be left out once the people behind Celer are presented. Danielle Baquet-Long and Will Long were a couple and produced these intimate, subtle and sensitive pieces together, until Danielle Baquet-Long died of heart failure in 2009. Which ended Celer, but as there are still a lot of works and recordings unpublished, there is more to come I am sure. As the idea of losing someone you love is about the worst thing imaginable to me, I want to refrain from speculations about how deep and intimate relationships may also shape the music that is produced in such a constellation. It can be felt. 3 Seconds of Air (the new project by Vidna Obmana aka Fear Falls Burning) has a similar constellation plus a close friend on the second guitar. It adds something. But losing the fundaments of this, of course, puts an end to this as well.
Death is impossible to think about and even harder to come to terms with (excluding the decision to ignore it). Any good art carries with it at least a small dose something beyond our regular lives, something of the eternal mysteries of life itself (birth, death, the fact of a living, breathing nature,…) which might either be tackled philosophically or spiritually. Both are the same amount helpless. The title “dying star”, the cover showing a sundown or song titles such as “I could almost disperse” or “how I imagine my hand holds yours” put more context to the situation. It is a wonderful thing to listen to these pieces and let your mind flow steadily, remembering experiences and people past and present.