Celer’s ‘Engaged Touches’ was the second release on the Home Normal label in 2009 – which in fact sold out before it even went on sale. This fact alone justifies this (1000 edition) re-release.
The somewhat misleading cover photo may trick an unsuspecting passenger into thinking this is a new Konono No. 1 or Staff Benda Bilili release, but the music tells quite a different story.
“…an absorbing combination of classic ambient, minimalism, and – perhaps as the most distinct characteristic – overwhelming romanticism. Longing, melancholy, nostalgia, and the like seem to be recurring themes in Will and Dani’s works.”
(original liner notes)
Will Thomas Long and Danielle Baquet-Long were ambient music’s ‘prodigy couple’. They seemed to breathe music from every moment they were together, creating an immense catalogue of music that was immediately recognisable as theirs. Celer’s fiercely romantic musical style thus quickly became the ‘standard’ other ambient music was compared to.
Until Dani’s sudden, and unexpected death in July, 2009 (aged 26) dramatically ended the Celer “project”. “Engaged Touches’, recorded in 2006/2008, thematically deals with travelling to unknown destinies – the musical parts are interlinked by field recordings including train exterior and sleeper car. It only adds to the saddening and heartbreaking mystery of Celer.
In the end, the music of Celer should not be judged by the personal drama that lies behind, but on the musical quality in itself. It should be remembered that this music was not created in memory of Dani’s death, but in happy times – times of harmony and musical interactivity. Like many other Celer releases, “Engaged Touches” shows an exceptional couple at their musically creative peak, working together in perfect harmony. All music they recorded together can only be releases in loving memory of Danielle Baquet-Long.