Archive for June, 2016

Coincidentally, Celer‘s Two Days And One Night is another album about loss and dealing with grief. On this album, Will Long retraces the steps his great-uncle travelled in 1984, from Tunis to Hammamet,‘where he rented a hotel room, bought swimming trunks, and by the afternoon had drowned in the ocean.’He was 80 years old.

Celer re-creates this trip using his own experience, ‘a re-imagining of what my great uncle might have heard and experienced 31 years before.’
The ambient washes of sound in the longer tracks are merged with shorter – sometimes almost inaudible – local field recordings, creating a dreamlike and slightly exotic atmosphere.

It is amazing how personal Celer‘s music feels, considering his enormous output. But, as personal as its background is, this music tells a story everyone can relate to somehow.

Next, an intriguing conceit from Celer keeper, Will Long: ‘In 1984, my great uncle drowned in the sea off the coast of Hammamet, Tunisia. He was 80 years old. He arrived in Tunis from his home in New York City, staying one night in the Hotel Amilcar, from where he sent a blank postcard back to his family home in Mississippi. The next day he traveled to Hammamet, where he rented a hotel room, bought swimming trunks, and by the afternoon had drowned in the ocean.’ Two days and one night deploys a similar template to Sky Limits—immersive stream of consciousness interleaving topographically-inclined field recording-based vignettes with mellifluous micro-orchestral billows. ‘In 2015, I retraced his steps from Tunis to Hammamet. Set part in fiction and part in reality, Two Days and One Night is both a document of my own experience and a re-imagining of what my great uncle might have heard and experienced 31 years before.’ “Spindles and fires” took our fancy.

Two days and one night is another one on the pile of “sad Celer albums”. The past year has seen some of his most brutal, with How could you believe me when I said I loved you when you know I’ve been a liar all my life casting the memory of a Midwest road-trip as a collection of deliciously mournful tape-loops, as well as the recent re-press of I love you so much I can’t even title this, which for those familiar with the history of Will Long may as well be called “press play to cry”.

But where previous albums have tended to be quite abstract – the lush drone pieces only really opening themselves up to misery in the context of an album title or paired story – Two days and one night is more specific. The album reflects on Celer’s trip to Tunisia, where he retraced the final steps of a great uncle who drowned off the coast. Long presents this as a narrative: steadily moving his pieces towards the sea and an eventual contemplation of death. An extended recording straddles “Spindles and fire” to “Sol Azur”, its Tunisian accented French bleeding like over-inked paper into lush, sun-drenched drones. It evokes both the scorched air of Tunisia and an early sense of unease as the ending looms. When the scene is set, the music quietens, resurging somewhat for “In all deracinated things” but reducing to a lone recording of waves with “The fear to touch the sand”. In these points of simplicity, the artist displays enough restraint to let listeners set their own scenes. I can’t help but imagine what it might be like to sit and stare at the sea which claimed a loved one. Surprisingly the album is not overtly sad, but instead ambiguous, as these moments often are.

I recently attended a friend’s memorial service, and afterwards took a long walk around the place he grew up. Being there – both happy and sad, consumed by death yet very much alive – helped me to understand just how impressive Two days and one night really is. The album reflects the experience perfectly, yet with such personal and geographically situated sounds it is unmistakably Celer’s own. It contains enough universal feeling to inspire sympathy, but just as Will followed in the footsteps of his uncle, we must follow in his. The album cannot be separated from the sun-soaked tiles and peaceful ocean, presented here with a mature and graceful empathy fit for a man who’s been recording for over a decade. We face loss through his learned eyes and find a rare, intimate calm.

Will Long is ridiculously prolific.  ‘Inside the Head of Gods’ is no less, his third physical release this year.  Past years have yielded similar results.

Based on the paintings of Taichi Kondo for his exhibition ‘What’s My Name?’ in the Philippines; Celer has taken inspiration from various elements of the artwork and made an aural accompaniment.  The varying imagery giving rise to the sounds, whether they be quiet, loud, synthetic or analogue.

This latest piece of work is best played in one sitting.  Rich tonal throbs ooze out as long warm drones; remaining as a friendly cascade of musical colour, rarely dipping their toes into darkness.

Essentially, the ten relatively short tracks on display do play out as one long track.  There is little to be gained by skipping and searching through, for any vast difference between them.  If anything, this could quite easily have been on a loop in the background to the installation itself, being as inoffensive and endearing as it is.

Here we have a new CD ep/ digital download from respected & highly prolific US ambient project Celer (aka Will Long).  The twenty four minute work takes in a single piece, split into 10 parts. And what have here is slowly revolving, fading, and growing slice of organ based ambient.

The music from this release was commissioned for a exhibition of paintings by  Japanese-Filipino artist’s Taichi Kondo.  The exhibition was entitled “What’s my name”, and it took place in the Philippines during most of April this year. The one-man exhibition explored the idea of dualities as perceived by the senses and as part of imagining a new “provisional world”. Posing the question of identity to both self and the public, Kondo showed how diversity is produced through the merging and meeting of binary or dual forces: heaven and hell, creation and destruction, humanity and divinity, civilization and chaos, for instance. The paintings were rendered in a primitive style, underscoring the raw energy inherent in this process.

The CD comes in a colour card slip sleeve, and on it’s front  is one of Kondo’s primitive & raw paintings- this is a colourfully yet quite surreally busy affair taking in yellow eyed gorillas, woodland contained in a box. A yellow, green, and blue oil paint backing, and a series of uniformed yellow mixed with brown dabs.

The track here is based around a slow, drowsy, and fairly simple series of organ notes. These drift & ebb along in a very lulling & dreamy manner, and mark out a rising & dipping melody. Over the pieces length the organ dies back to barely audible, and then back up to simmering & brightly sustained. I guess you’d say this is ambient at it’s most simple, sparse & pared back- it very much feels like the classic & original interpretation of the form, where  the sound is purely there to sonically paint a room/space in a highly minimal way.  The piece seemingly has no beginning or end, but instead just drift back & forth between simmering rises & different levels of audibility- so as a result you could easily have this set on repeat.

I’ll have to admit that my first few plays of this left me a little under whelmed- as it just felt a little too stripped back & simple for its own good. But as I’ve played it a few more times, trying  not to concentrate too much on it, and let it become more background sound-  I’ve found it a bit more appealing.

So in summing up, I can’t say this is one of my favourite release by Celer as there doesn’t seem much depth or longevity, compared with some of his works. But as ambient in the classic form goes this is well realized & skilful made, and if you are looking for more background/ drifting ambience it’s worth a look.

“Compedium: Collected Singles and Remixes” compiles the six tracks recorded by Celer and Machinefabriek for their trilogy of 7″ singles which were self-released throughout 2012. It also includes one new track and a series of remixes by Stephan Mathieu, Sylvain Chauveau, and Nicolas Bernier. This album is almost tailor-made to be experienced upon first rise in the AM, or when a 50 minute reboot beckons.

Celer and Machinefabriek’s collaborations are highly ambient; there is barely a pulse anywhere in their collected works. Most of the tracks feature prolonged, alluring swells that seem to prescribe evenness and harmony with just a delicate touch of tension from time-to-time. All of the trilogy tracks blend well together in both sequence and timbre. Some compositions — notably ‘Penarie’ with its ominous, sweeping, low-end distortion — billow within the first 90 seconds, percolate in their discord, and finally arrive at their well-timed beauty.

Conversely, the long additional track ‘In/Out’ deep-dives into ambient bliss straightaway, then slowly transcends into an alluring, splendidly-phased distortion. It accomplishes a great deal in just under 3 minutes, and sounds complete. As for the remixes, I did not notice significant deviance from the source material, though two of them (Chauveau’s remix of ‘Sou’ and Bernier’s remix of ‘Mt. Mitake’) have an edginess that suggests the separation process has begun.

Though it is a collection of works, “Compendium” is well-integrated, focused, and worthy of front-to-back consideration.

Уилл Лонг часто создает музыку для разных культурных мероприятий, вроде выставок и инсталляций. Но один долгий, кажущийся бесконечным трек на его новом альбоме «Akagi» был записан в качестве сопровождения сеанса групповой медитации, происходившего в одном из храмов Северного Токио еще в 2012 году. По замыслу организаторов этого действа, во время медитации музыкант должен был находиться в аудитории рядом с инструктором и исполнять музыку в режиме реального времени. Понятно, что для подобного мероприятия звуковое сопровождение должно быть тихим, почти незаметным и очень спокойным – то есть, примерно таким, какой мы все представляем себе творчество «Celer». Вооружившись двумя кассетными проигрывателями, Уилл создал с помощью синтезатора несколько звуковых петель, которые потом проигрывались в случайном порядке, подвергались задержкам, проходили через различные эффекты и преобразования, выдавая в итоге медленный, постоянно изменяющийся, бесструктурный эмбиент, растворивший в себе душевный, еле уловимый мелодизм и светлое, умиротворенное настроение, как раз и подходящее идеально для медитации. Возможно, нечто подобное вы могли слышать на различных релизах в стиле «new age»,  подготовленных как раз для подобного времяпрепровождения, но у Уилла получилась действительно красивая композиция, в компании которой время притормаживает свой ход, сознание замедляет хаотичное мельтешение образов, внутренний диалог затихает, и из глубин памяти всплывают позитивные воспоминания о близких людях или о важных событиях (например, сам Лонг очень душевно описал пришедшие к нему воспоминания о своей бабушке). Возможно, вы просто уснете – тогда вам гарантированы спокойные сны. Возможно, вас ждет нечто гораздо большее. «Celer» сделал для этого все необходимое.

Новый альбом проживающего в Японии музыканта Уилла Лонга состоит из десяти треков и длится всего двадцать четыре минуты, но, если последовать рекомендации автора на обложке и воспользоваться функцией случайного воспроизведения на вашей стереосистеме, то можно слушать его бесконечно долго, раз за разом получая не повторяющийся никогда больше результат. Видимо, в таком виде «Inside The Head Of Gods» и проигрывался почти весь апрель 2016 года в галерее «Finale Art File» в Маниле, где проходила выставка работ художника Таичи Кондо – собственно, для этих целей Уилл и создал эту музыку, разделив изначальный двадцатиминутый трек, созданный им только из звуков органа, и подвергнув получившийся материал различным звуковым обработкам, ремикшированию и прочим хитростям. Получились короткие (зачастую – очень короткие) композиции без имени, обильно восполняющие вашу жажду абстрактного и минималистичного (в этом плане даже в контексте всего творчества «Celer» он является эталоном минимализма) эмбиента, обильно перемежающегося тишиной, которой порой отводится, кажется, гораздо более важная роль, чем непосредственно музыке. По отдельности эти атмосферные, бессюжетные отрезки не представляют особой ценности, но вместе они работают замечательно, создавая тихое, уютное пространство, где разворачиваются (пусть только в воображении) инсталляции эмоций и выставки ментальных картин, нарисованных по мотивах ваших снов. Признаться, я давно не слушал «Celer», примерно около года, и уже успел порядком подзабыть, какими уютными и простыми могут быть созданные Уиллом треки, особенно если слушать их на тихой громкости – они сами сделают все, чтобы завлечь слушателя, «отформатируют» под себя его настроение и помогут погрузиться в мир, сотканный из видений, вырванных из объятий дремы, коллажей повседневных звуков и образов, несуществующей музыки.