Label: Two Acorns
Release date: 7/15/21
1 Coral Sea
Noise is coming from every direction. Backseat tvs flicker, and shuffling sounds fill the spectrum. Light glimmers from the windows, and only a few of us look out. I’m consumed by everything (else) and it all seems overwhelming. I’m outraged by the extending evils, their smiles filling my consciousness. It’s not good enough to be a bystander. I won’t make those mistakes. I will try. But what, do you give? Below, there are tiny islands passing by. They appear for minutes, and disappear. So will this noise, and us.
Random notes, 2018
All music by Will Long, 2018
Mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung
CD edition of 500 copies
Much like the rest of Celer’s insanely impressive body of work, Coral Sea’s ambient loops of bliss are sober and bittersweet evocations, longing for what could’ve been, its images washed in the rain of yesterday. Coral Sea is a forty-minute longform piece and was originally released back in 2018, and it’s now been given a physical release via Two Acorns. It’s another release from the prolific Will Long, and it’s one of his best.
Celer’s ambient music feels like a trip; it’s got substance, with both positive and negative episodes and events shading and lighting up the music. Life is like that, and its music has spent a long time travelling, weary but still able to find the good within, prospecting for love and kindness as if it were precious gold or searching the silt for a glimmer of a diamond, seeking it out in unlikely places, and finding residues of kindness in a narcissistic era.
Coral Sea strikes an optimistic tone, but it’s also deeply painful in its personal want of a better world, a different, parallel timeline where things worked out and nothing was a struggle. When he’s at the top of his game, no one else comes close to rivalling Long’s ambient music (not that it’s a competition), both in the hazy, clouded tones, which, over the years, have remained remarkably consistent – you can instantly tell his music apart from others, the sound leaving behind a personality, a scent, and a tonal signature – and in the unhurried unspooling of the music. There isn’t anything vastly different on Coral Sea, but like the sea air, it’s still able to knock the listener out, and, like much of his ambient output, the long, drawn-out drones, which never wear themselves out, feel somewhat tired and jaded, as if coming into port after a long voyage.
To a great extent, this is the sound of life, its worn loops echoing with experience and heartbreak. But there’s nothing salty in the music, no bitterness or other negative feelings underneath it all; they’ve been swept away, the tide doing its job in cleansing the soul as well as its mortal cocoon of bones in which it resides. Life is turbulent, subject to stormy weather, much like the sudden maw of a huge wave, or the absence of still water and baby whitecaps during a particularly bad season. It isn’t predictable and it doesn’t run to a schedule. This is the way of things, and Celer’s music is ready and willing to embrace transience. It’s different to most others in the ambient field in that it looks inward, going to deeper levels of the self and encouraging introspection (which fits ambient perfectly). Introspection and ambient music are a perfect marriage – it’s not anything new, of course, but there are deeper, textured layers within the sound, slipping out of the subconscious and somehow imprinting itself on the music.
The loop is fluid and bright, and so are the thoughts, which sail along like passing clouds, like passengers in the sky. The music soaks into the surroundings. Although there’s little in the way of development, it’s hardly a criticism or even an issue, as it never feels stationary or stagnant. Put this on a 10-hour loop and it will still sound fresh. The drones are in motion, looking out at vast seas and silent rivers below, the wings gently adjusting as it nears descent.
Will Long’s music feels like it’s able to float serenely on, with no indication of interference or alarm. Repetition is the key, but Coral Sea isn’t repetitive in the negative sense; the music has a solid foundation because it’s built on the repetition of its loop. Like the sea itself, where so little has been explored and there’s so much we don’t yet know, Coral Sea is an infinite expanse, with no end in sight.
‘Noise is coming from every direction. Backseat tvs flicker, and shuffling sounds fill the spectrum. Light glimmers from the windows, and only a few of us look out. I’m consumed by everything (else) and it all seems overwhelming. I’m outraged by the extending evils, their smiles filling my consciousness. It’s not good enough to be a bystander. I won’t make those mistakes. I will try. But what, do you give? Below, there are tiny islands passing by. They appear for minutes, and disappear. So will this noise, and us’.
Der eingebürgerte Japaner Will Long lässt sich selbstverständlich auch sonst nicht bitten und liefert neben den fast monatlich herauskommenden freien Download-Tracks auf seiner Bandcamp-Seite gleich noch zwei weitere „richtige” Celer-Alben ab. Einmal die Tonträgerveröffentlichung des 40-minütigen Long Drones Coral Sea (Two Acorns, 21. Juli), und mit In the Light of Blue (Room40, 13. August) bietet Celer sogar noch eine kleine Überraschung, entsprechen die Stücke doch nicht dem mittlerweile üblichen Langformat, sondern eher den kurzen atmosphärischen und tendenziell experimentelleren Skizzen, die Celer als Duo gemacht haben, vor Danielle Baquette-Longs viel zu frühem Tod und vor Will Longs Umzug nach Japan.
An issue of the environmentally friendly ambience in music.
How much is there left to meditate upon the disappearing of what is deemed to be natural but unfortunately damaged by human activity? In the times of the desperate measures (not)taken to preserve what is left, we are abandoned by the impulses that could help and put us in the right mindset of questioning and defying our reason to exist here as species.
Will Long delivers a perfect ambient soundtrack for whatever musings you might take up. A subtle energy of minimal permutations and movements are an ideal background or foreground to imagination.
Ah, good old Celer. A new release means making coffee, picking up a book, putting the CD on repeat, and sitting back for a fair amount of time. I am not reading all the time. Sometimes I will close my eyes, even fall asleep, or I will get up and walk about a bit. Look at my bookshelves, CDs and records. Maybe there is something to organize again? I can watch out over the quiet street on this greyish Thursday afternoon, for which ‘Coral Sea’ seems the perfect soundtrack. Quiet and grey, that is well-translated into music by Will Long here. Not grey as in dull, but as in painting a moody colour. It is not a surprise when I say this is atmospheric music. Celer’s music is hauntingly minimal, just a few very long sustaining drones that go in and out of phase, slowly drifting apart and coming together. All of this happens in long, majestic flows. There is a quick fade in and a slightly slower fade out at the end; it all stays in the same volume for the rest. For all I care, it could have been the full eighty minutes of this. There is movement, there is change, and yet there is not. It is what it is. Phill Niblock’s ‘Early Winter’ sprang to mind, or perhaps other pieces of his as well. There is a similar vastly layered sound here with Celer this time around, with slowly drifting ice caps. Celer is here at his most orchestral, I think. I love it, but I am a fanboy, so not the most critical mind.
Revisando los discos a comentar llegue a Celer, aka Will Long, un músico, escritor y fotógrafo estadounidense que actualmente vive en Tokio, Japón. Celer fue formado en 2005 por Danielle Baquet y Will Long. Desde 2009, hasta la actualidad, Celer es el proyecto en solitario de Will Long que ha editado varios discos en sellos independientes y en su propio sello Two Acorns.
De Celer he reseñado varios de sus discos y siempre me atrapa por su carácter hipnótico. Y claro que ayuda tener como telón de fondo el mar y hacia lo lejos dos barcos cargueros que todavía se divisan con la luz del atardecer.
“Coral Sea” es un solo tema de 40 minutos de teclados ambientales que se expanden a través de un loop envolvente, interminable, bello e inspirador de bellas imágenes. Un sonido que puede parecer simple, pero es una simplicidad que oculta su densidad y movimiento.
A bituiamoci a sentire il suono, non ascoltiamo semplicemente ma sentiamolo. Cerchiamo di assumerlo come fosse ossigeno respirandolo lentamente e lentamente permettendo all sua sostanza di invadere ogni parte del nostro organismo, anche le piu recondita. Non piu dissertazioni tecniche, confronti, pareri ma utili e improrogabili diserzioni, fughe nel mondo della purezza e del racconto, lo stesso che il loop costante innescato da Will Long in arte Celer, musicista scrittore e fotografo americano che ha scelto il Giappone come casa, inizia a diffondere. Disponiamo di quaranta minuti un tempo definiti ambient, nei quali tuffarci raggiungendo il nucleo di questo loop infinito. Viaggiamo leggeri ma terribilmente carichi di materia percettiva che pieno piano inizia ad espandersi riuscendo a tradurre le magnifiche ondate iterative in racconto, in pensiero, in immagine. In Coral Sea, Celer supera se stesso e durante una apparentemente lucente traccia ambient, riesce a raggiugere vette di grandiosa profondita intimista. Sentiamola quindi, trasformiamoci in essenza, mentre il pensiero vola a sfiorare le parole scritte da Allen Ginsberg: Il peso del mondo e amore. Sotto il fardello di solitudine sotto il fardello dell’insoddisfazione il peso che portiamo e amore.