Archive for March, 2023

These massive blocks of music have been waiting for review for some time, but I found it hard to get around to them. Travelling, a change of scenery seems an excellent time to work on them. Right now, I’m on a train and listening to the noise of the train moving. I’m thinking about Celer and thinking of a few questions I have. When was the first time I heard the music of Celer, back then a duo of Will Long & Danielle Baquet-Long, who sadly passed away in 2009, following which it became Will’s solo project (and, apparently, ended in 2022; for when was the last time I heard it, well, before this massive set, obviously. I’m not in a situation to find out quickly. I took all ten (or, rather, 14 CDs (some are double releases) with me, on my laptop, to listen to in all the relatively unquietness of train travel. Maybe it is entirely wrong to do this, as the music’s delicate nature requires good speakers and a music-friendly environment. In the past two weeks, I heard them as part of my early morning routine. I recounted this before; when I get up, I read the morning paper, drink a coffee and want to have some music unrelated to what I m doing, i.e. writing music reviews. To start the day without ‘work’. From the previous occasions that I heard Celer’s music, and I heard quite a lot, I know this music does this job very well. Provide a quiet backdrop, the perfect definition of listening and non-listening, ignoring and enjoying. That is not to say that the fourteen hours of this album are long and contain the same music. It is related, and yet, also a bit different. I played one CD daily, thinking I should make notes, which I didn’t do, and lost my way early on. What did I hear? There is definitely that classic Celer sound, the long-form, unchanging, minimalist sound work, sitting next to music that is deeply covered in reverb, maybe a bit too much, and some work that is not unlike a more ambient industrial approach. What, where and when? I lost my way, indeed. I hadn’t heard any of these discs before, as they were all ‘self-released’ in the duo’s earliest years, and none of these made it to Vital Weekly. As such, it is, for me, a further exploration of music I already know, I long cherish, and which, at least with my reviewer’s hat, I’d say there is already a lot of music by Celer available. I know that a re-issue like this may feel likea heavy burden for collectors, but I am sure none of these earliest releases are easily found these days. Plus, what I also find interesting is that these discs aren’t all about one long piece per disc. Some of these have shorter pieces in which Celer explores their themes in a similar yet concise form, and it’s great to see that it works very well in such a time frame. It is a massive release of spacious music.