Label: Two Acorns
Release date: 4/6/16
‘Inside the head of gods’ is an EP of music made to accompany the paintings of Taichi Kondo for his exhibition ‘What’s my name?’ at Finale Art File in Manila, Philippines, April 6 – April 30, 2016.When I first saw his paintings, they gave me a very clear sound of music. I had many ideas, and there were many elements of each of his paintings to represent through music. When I began creating the music, I made many different kinds of tracks with different lengths, structures, timbres, quiet or loud, rhythmic or not, analog or synthetic, field recordings or noise.. but later, while these different pieces did represent the music, it didn’t sound right in a true setting – not with what I imagined the gallery space would represent, and how it would be heard.In the end, I chose to use only the first track I made, which was around 20 minutes of organ music. I listened in different settings, replayed it in different ways, and mixed and remixed it. At first I thought it was too simple and minimal, but when I listened back closely, all of those elements from before were actually there, just in a similar form of each other, rather than separated. Like the paint on a canvas, it’s all made of paint – the colors and shapes are what makes it different.
‘Inside the head of gods’ is intended to be listened to at medium volume, in random playback mode if available.
Edition of 300 copies. CD comes packaged in a simple, full color pocket sleeve. Minimal and friendly.
A Closer Listen
Celer‘s ambient music is a quietly stirring dream that flutters around the eyelashes of reality. By now, ambient listeners should be well-acquainted with the hushed, introspective music of Will Long. Inside the Head of Gods is barely there itself, its short, organ-led pieces painted with loving kindness. The shapes and tones are similar throughout the record, creating an absorbing album that congeals rather than dislocates.
Introverted notes mix in with the rumbling swells that linger in the background, and gradually this painting – this work of art – comes to life. The tones may be similar to one another, but in a way they’re also vastly different to each other. The same colours enter a million and one paintings, but each painting is unique. The words and letters in the English language are constantly recycled; they all use the alphabet, but novels are never identical. Sure, the words are the same, but the sentences, chapters and overall narratives are very different. Of course, the same is true in music. For example, the notes in a pentatonic blues lick can be rearranged a thousand times, despite its supposed 5-note limitations. But it can still sound fresh. And so it is with Inside the Head of Gods.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a lot happening here. That’s fine – it’s ambient music! It just has to be. Made to accompany the paintings of Taichi Kondo for his exhibition ‘What’s my name?’ at Finale Art File in Manila, Philippines (April 6 –April 30, 2016), Inside the Head of Gods is an introverted, subjective listen that absorbs into the very room. After sifting through many different layers, tones and timbres, Long eventually settled on one 20-minute piece of organ music. And it fits. As Long says himself: ‘Like the paint on a canvas, it’s all made of paint’. The music fits the contemplative and reflective space of a gallery, but the music also rises up on its own two legs and can be appreciated with no other artistry in sight. After all, ambient music, and Celer’s music in particular, is a painting of sound.
Vapours of steam rise up, shaping the notes gently until they resemble the fine, glassy curves of a Coca Cola bottle. These are subtle variations on a beautiful, almost poetic theme, and Long did the right thing in shining a direct light on one particular aspect of the sound. These vignettes swirl in the air as they wrap their ghostly arms around the listener. The muted, dry tone is suppressed rather than suffocated, and the organ’s shuddering, all-consuming, cataclysmic vibrations have been filtered. As a result, it’s a little weaker, but this lets the thinner ambient tone inside, and the swells still have the ability to produce aftershocks when they rise up. The tonal similarities keep the music consistent, and its artistic merit shines through. Inside the Head of Gods is a place where everything is different, but nothing has noticeably changed.
Music Won’t Save You
I poco più di venti minuti di “Inside The Head Of Gods” smentiscono in un colpo solo due luoghi comuni applicabili alla musica di Will Thomas Long: la sua necessaria manifestazione nel lungo formato e il carattere acromatico delle sue suggestioni visuali. Le dieci tracce del lavoro sono infatti non solo molto concise, ma sono state create in occasione di una mostra del pittore giapponese Taichi Kondo, un’opera del quale lo identifica dal punto di vista visuale.
Di quest’ultimo aspetto il contenuto sonoro è profondamente rispettoso, atteggiandosi a semplice cornice ambientale, spesso appena al di sopra dei limiti della percezione, risultante da un certosino lavoro di manipolazione, aggiunta e sottrazione di timbriche pure che, come pennellate successivamente sovrapposte, formano immagini le cui trasparenze permangono discrete, mai invasive del campo visivo.
Così, ascoltate a medio volume e in sequenze anche diverse da quelle dalla playlist, le tracce di “Inside The Head Of Gods” contribuiscono a definire una fruizione sinestetica che coglie l’essenza dell’attimo di un’impressione visiva, rispecchiandone l’immaterialità.
This is perhaps an odd ball for Celer; at least if you are used to a release with one piece
spanning somewhere between forty minutes to something that easily doubles that. Here
however he has a release that is only twenty-five minutes long and has ten pieces. These
were made for an exhibition of paintings by Taichi Kondo, whose work I don’t know (and I am not sure if Google shows the right ones; the cover has one of his paintings of course, but that doesn’t justify a fully informed opinion). Will Long, also known as Celer, was quite inspired by the paintings and recorded a whole bunch of ideas, but in the end only used the one that used an organ recording of twenty minutes and recorded a bunch of variations of that, using a variety of settings and spaces. In each piece there is one movement, rising and decaying, and sometimes this is repeated within the space of one piece, but each block is separated by (near) silence, which is of course a clever thing; it makes it easier for the listener to choose random/shuffle play and keep that on repeat for a long time, so new configurations keep appearing for the listener, which makes all of this wonderful. The music is very soft and not outspoken but as such ranks among the best ambient music around these days. Maybe a few more variations and thus a bit longer release would have been even better, but I had a great time, much longer than the ‘real’ length of this release, listening to this on shuffle and repeat and doing not much else in terms of other things than listening.
le son du grisli
J’ai déjà été assez sévère avec Celer (Dying Star) mais j’ai aussi été moins sévère (Sky Limits). Je m’attendais donc à l’être encore moins – il faut bien que l’on progresse, non ?, musiciens comme critiques – en gavant ma platine de ce nouveau rond de polycarbonate, mais pas à ce point…
Dix petits morceaux d’orgue que Will Long (désormais seul à la tête de Celer) a enregistré pour une exposition de peintures de Taichi Kondo (peut-être que le disque passait toute la journée en mode repeat ?). Dix petits morceaux accrochés les uns aux autres qui donnent un grand tout (mais un grand tout de 24 minutes seulement) qui m’a, je dois bien le reconnaître, soufflé.
J’ignore de quel orgue jouait Long mais ses notes, que l’on suit de leur naissance à leur extinction, ont de quoi surprendre. Notre homme peut s’en tenir à une couche ou soutenir cette couche en sous-marin grâce à un grave continu, de toute façon son destin est joué et tout en haut de la courbe il faut la descendre jusqu’au trou béant. Des drones ? Oui mais interrompus par des silences. Une ambient ? Oui mais une ambient qui infuse et qui provoque des choses dans celui qui l’écoute. Au point que celui qui écoute demande pardon pour tout ce qu’il a écrit sur Celer (c’était il y a longtemps, et puis c’était de votre faute)…
Dark Room Rituals
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.
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.
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.