MYSTERY SEA 50 | Celer
hear her talking
with the stars...
little more than uneasy tension, a short existence in a humid paradise
untrained ears listening to the falling-apart.
The surrounding pink sand beaches, dancing palms, on the edge of
decayed reefs, leading us, swimming in stillness, and lying on the tip
of the trench.
We’re left inside sweating jungles, dripping.
Pouring out a
summer spent in mint swims, everything that happened left the rush
nowhere to fall. Drives through one-lane mountain roads, plane skeletons
remains in the hidden hills, all inactive and silent; there is little
unaware farewells, we’d rather remember the slow-motion dances
under the soft glow
of paper lanterns, the tracers from lightning bugs drifting into the
of the hidden inland.
The ending, with
an arduous voyage home, left signs in the churning water,
but they disappeared into the deep blue depth, as the island fell with
The naval ship hum, dooming any hope of silence, left only the moonlit
to mimic the loss. Unexposed film of the lost loves that we didn’t
have time to fall for,
still and lifeless, swaying with diaphoresis in the humid wind."
a fast growing in reputation entity, and also the main artistic expression
of lovely couple of Will Thomas Long & Danielle
Baquet-Long, currently based on the coast of Southern California...
Both have jobs in the educational domain, are versed into literature,
and have common interests in Poetry, Painting, Photography, History
CELER carries out its ceaseless thirst for beauty &
emotion through sound, merging techniques of analog and digital world
via the use of field recordings, custom software, real instruments,
effects + manipulation, and concepts...
Since inception, CELER has been extremely prolific
and generous, overflowing the independent market with numerous hand-made
releases, soundtracks for installations & art exhibitions, &
works for various labels across North America, Japan & Europe...
As a result of their sheer passion, they didn't have to wait that long
before seeing unfurling waves of praise... as an example, their collab
with Mathieu Ruhlmann, "Mesoscaphe" is now permanently archived
in Vancouver's Maritime Museum...
As symbolic celebration of
reaching its 50th release, MS is proud to serve as a showcase for their
highly personal album "Tropical"
is all muggy heat,
an intimate pulse swelling,
raising from the depths, the scars of past...
The sound of an invisible river
reaching out and afar,
while palm trees cry some golden tears...
The sound of a slow breeze
making twigs dance...
"Tropical" touches you, reads you,
leaves you forlorn and naked,
rough, unpolished as lava rocks
close to burst into pieces, flakes of pure wonder...
The torn landscape is aglow,
eyes are wild, and truth is in the air...
And a single flower crystallizes all hope,
hands open, all sand fleeing...
A notion of eternity,
or just perennial Father's traces...
melts you into its Heart
and has the grace of some unseen Terrence Malick footage...
01. Normal Sadness (The
Softness of the Sea Hibiscus)
02. Stipulated Morning Beside the Wreckage (First Sight)
03. The Second in a Sequence of Glances and Introductions
04. Heart Shapes and Requiems at the Height of LamLam
05. Empty Hum (An Open, Empty Ocean)
VITAL WEEKLY 662|Frans
A while ago, Celer introduced
themselves in a heavy way, three CDs at once (see Vital Weekly 645),
and now a new work on the Mystery Sea label, which continues their interest
in water themes, as started with their collaboration with Mathieu Ruhlmann,
which is now part of the archive of Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Celer are Danielle Baquet-Long (pianos, words,
custom electronics, tape-loops, theremin) and Will Long (pianos,
custom electronics, tape-loops, arrangement diagrams and splicing),
and they belong to the world of drone artists. The five pieces here
are quite static in approach it seems: long sustaining drone pieces
which only seem to move slowly around. There are changes to be noted,
but only on the long curve. Field recordings are processed in one way
or another - I hesitate to say computer, because I am told before they
use reel to reel machines - to form these highly atmospheric music.
Its a bit hard to see the aquatic theme approach here, which sometimes
seems important for the label. However in terms of 'deep dark ambient
music', Celer has quickly become an important player
in the field. Of course its music that hasn't much new to offer in terms
of innovating the idiom of this particular genre, but Celer
has mastered the genre very well and produced a most excellent work
again. It would be good to expand more on the genre and see where it
could also move into. Great for now at least.
WONDERFUL WOODEN REASONS|Ian
Will & Danielle and this album consists
of piano, strings, radio, electronics, arrangements (?), tape, words,
bells and field recordings. I know this because it says so on the inside
of the sleeve. That's my question mark back there by the way, it's not
on the sleeve just in my head. It seemed a strange thing to write on
the instrument list, but I digress.
Tropical is a bit of a misnomer as titles go as there
is a far more arid or tundra feel to Celer's music
than there is tropical. It consists of a series of stately, slow moving,
round mid-range drones. There is very little superfluous decoration
in the music. All the attention is focussed entirely upon the drones
and their careful evolution.
This is easily one off the nicest drone albums I've heard in a while
and it's found it's way onto my seedee player many times over the last
few weeks. It isn't the most memorable of discs though with the tracks
being fairly amorphous and vague. Another way of putting this though
is that the tracks are quite amorphous and vague which is the very quality
that has kept the album visiting my seedee player over the last few
weeks as it's almost impossible to get bored of them. Both version work
for me depending on my mood.
Definitely worth a listen but as it's on Mystery Sea you already knew
wonderful wooden reasons
Long & Danielle Baquet-Long) have become
a recognized name in this field. Admittedly, at first I was not entirely
persuaded after hearing some of the (mainly) loop-derived early works
that they had sent me - very kind-heartedly indeed - upon my request.
Yet I’m almost sold, as today the duo easily fits amidst the region’s
preeminent hypnotizers and everything experienced in this room - either
self-released or published elsewhere - has been credibly charming since
that initial approach. Tropical is one of those records
composed on very few elements that, in the great scheme of things, result
extremely momentous, determining a veritable change of mood during the
listening session. Everlasting obscurities and consuming frequencies
succeed at a snail's pace, each time with increased potential; there
were moments in which both my wife and myself remained with our mouths
shut as mammoth mumbles bounced around the house, playing hide-and-seek
in the corners of the walls. Although somewhat glacial in terms of sheer
stimulus, the music possesses a sort of electronic porosity that renders
its cryptic character wholly acceptable. This stuff influences the nervous
system in a positive sense; no wonder that the Longs are also active
in the area of musical therapy for children. A gorgeously humming album,
highly recommended to real specialists who want to subject themselves
to over 52 minutes of solemn stupor.
To celebrate its fiftieth release,
Mystery Sea could not have chosen a more appropriate artist. The duo
of Will Long and the late Danielle Baquet-Long
have refreshed the genre of ambient music with remarkable speed. Their
prolific output has been matched release by release with glowing reviews.
By the time Tropical was commissioned, their discography
already boasted some thirty titles – in only four years. Since
then, some twenty more have arrived. It seems inevitable that there
should be at least some filler there, but the Longs´
ear for quality control would appear to be at least as sharp as their
pitch-perfect aesthetic sensibilities.
Mystery Sea itself is something of a phenomenon, a small, CDR label
based in Belgium whose remit at first glance might seem as restrictive
as its editions (usually only one hundred copies). The bearing idea
is to promote works that all somehow reflect the properties of the sea,
its amorphousness, its beneath the surface calm. And its strangeness.
Remarkably, most every album differs radically from the rest while still
remaining true to the label´s mission.
For its part, Celer has often referenced rivers and
great bodies of water in its compositions, one of which was in fact
entirely conceived on board a boat in the Mediterranean. The warmer
latitudes are also hardly foreign to the couple, as an album like ”Capri”
testifies. And the swell and ebb and flow of water is the almost too
on the nose metaphor for its music, which though largely the result
of electronic manipulation is something of a force of nature.
Tropical opens almost uncharacteristically moodily
with ”Normal Sadness (The Softness of the Sea Hibiscus)”
and remains more forbidding than uplifting throughout its fifty-two
minutes. This is often standard procedure for Celer
– a certain "presence" is captured and the rest of the
record unfolds akin to variations on a theme.
Somber but not sullen. Tropical showcases Celer´s
grace and sense of wonder. With customary patience and attention to
detail, it evokes sun-drenched moments adrift, salt clinging to the
humid air, the shoreline nowhere in sight.
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