Format: CD, LP
Label: Two Acorns
Release date: 2/3/21
1 Great Circles
2 The Absence Of Atmosphere
3 Two Months Are Past, And More
6 After Departures
Being Below is a mini-album of short songs created with digital and analogue instruments, recorded in 2020. Written with a structure that reflects shifting states, overlooking the past and future as a split pathway with the present endlessly fluctuating between. The pangs of rumination. An exercise in loop-less writing.
Mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung, and designed by Rutger Zuydervelt.
Pressed in a limited edition of 150 crystal clear 12″ vinyl, 150 black 12″ vinyl in a reverse-board sleeve as a dual release from Past Inside the Present and Two Acorns. A CD edition in a reverse-board 4-panel package with glass-mastered CD is also available from Two Acorns.
Staring out, tense. Looking down isn’t so different than looking up, but it passes by faster. Contentment at the accomplishment that I’m here, and the fear that what I’ve always been looking for has passed by. Staring up and looking at the sky, wishing you were up here with me, here where you can see everything. Above, the surface drifts by, and the colors on the horizon in pale blues makes me calm. Then blue. Deep in pale blue.
Again, in the morning. Close your eyes. Repeating this, repeating that, then it changes. Try to stay focused, but you’ve already moved out of sight. You’re a million miles away, and farther. Waiting for night. Stars, always beyond. Now, it’s already tomorrow.
Mitte Februar bringen Two Acrons und Past Inside the Present die neue EP “Being Below” von Celer heraus. Die sechs eher kurzen Ambient-Tracks entstanden auf der Basis digitaler und analoger Instrumentierung und sind in ihrer tagträumerischen Atmosphäre von einer stets veränderlichen Struktur. Neben der auf je 150 transparente und schwarze Scheiben limitierten Vinyl-Edition ist die EP als CD und digital erhältlich.
Dopo i quattro CD di un anno fa, Future Predictions, Will Long torna sotto l’alias Celer per un mini album di canzoni molto brevi in cui cerca – parole della nota stampa – alternative alla musica basata sui loop.
Registrato nel corso del 2020 utilizzando sia strumenti digitali, sia strumenti analogici, Being Below, “riflette stati mutevoli, che vanno oltre l’idea di passato e futuro come un percorso separato rispetto a un presente che fluttua senza fine tra i due”. Attorno, la stessa squadra di un anno fa: al mastering Stephan Mathieu, mentre il design è firmato Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek.
Celer’s ‘Being Below’ is temporary music, fluttering by and passing beyond in an instant. Before you know it, the record is done, its transient nature on full display. The record is as much a reflection as it is a musical entry. Will Long ruminates on memory, the false confidence that one can feel, thinking that there’ll always be enough time, but then suddenly realising that things are coming to an end; the sand in the hourglass is running on empty.
Contained within are slim, instrumental songs which feel thin enough to potentially evaporate at any given moment, all coloured in the deep blue of a cloudless Summer sky, their textures a vital part of the stratosphere. ‘The Absence of Atmosphere’ lives in a quiet space, up in the sky above. But Being Below is as much about looking back as it is about looking up and beyond, giving its blue a pale and slightly melancholic tint – it’s there, somewhere, but it never really materialises.
Celer’s personal music is also an aural love letter. Romanticised tones with soft curls and slowly-morphing segues always ensure that the atmosphere shifts as and when it feels the need to; nothing is forced or pre-planned. The only structure within Being Below aims to reflect shifting states, ‘overlooking the past and future as a split pathway with the present endlessly fluctuating between’. Celer calls the process ‘an exercise in loop-less writing’, and it has given the music wider wings. The music gleams with prism-colours, radiating light. Celer is in a reflective mood; the songs seem to think on things, chewing the fat, before leaving things as they are. That isn’t to say that this record isn’t without emotion, because it is, and it’s one of Celer’s strengths. His tones are instantly identifiable, and emotions pour out with every ambient swell.
Being Below is a form of cloud-gazing, appearing, floating, dissolving, the endless, soaring blue sinking into the body. Using digital and analogue means, Will Long is able to create a thin, flexible and glowing aura of sound. It’s the perfect length, because, although short, its beauty lies in its ephemerality.
La pandemia non ha isciso sullo quantita di dischi pubblicata ogni anno da Will Long. Al contrario il 2020 e stato uno degli anni piu prolifici per il musicsta americano residente in Giappone. Appena dopo due settimane nel nuovo anno Celer ha reso disponibile sulla propria pagina di Bandcamp un mini album di ambient stellare, Being Below: sei brani che si susseguono senza soluzione di continuita creando un suono in cui immergersi tutta la notte.
Apropos Tiefgang und Zurückhaltung: Es gibt endlich wieder eine neue LP von Celer, die als physischer Tonträger veröffentlicht wird. Being Below (Two Acorns, 15. Februar) dürfte zu den knappsten und konzentriertesten Arbeiten Will Longs der vergangenen fünf oder zehn Jahre gehören. Als musikalisches Äquivalent zum Aus-dem-Fenster-in-den-Himmel-schauen ist es wie immer perfekt. Wir dürfen verfolgen, wie Wolken warmen Wohlklangs entstehen und vergehen, kondensieren und wieder zerstieben.
My past and very positive experience of Celer music is with works that could be described as long-form- long ambient albums which draw you in for a good, indulgent hour. So this EP is something of a surprise- an 18-minute EP comprising six tracks initially described as ‘songs’. Would this represent a massive change in direction? Is Celer about to rock out?
For better or worse, the answer is no. From opening track “Great Circles” on it’s clear that these will still be gentle ambient manoeuvres, full of soft hums and calm washes, but always managing to avoid being cheesy. Celer’s music has been perfect for lockdown since before lockdowns were a thing.
“The Absence Of Atmosphere” accurately describes its own sci-fi, deep space tone, also adopted in the alien “Geodesy”, while pieces like “Two Months are Past, and More” and “After Departures”, while very similar in construction, feel a little more introspective and thoughtful.
Think of this like an artist’s small sketchbook, or a sampler, and enjoy a little snippet of the fairly straightforward but beautiful pleasures that Celer’s longer works offer you in more abundance.
Celer has been always one of those projects where you have gained a vast amount of space in music under the label of ambient. A clean cut production, an definitely a golden opportunity to find out about the music that is a compromise between lyrical, experimental and illustrative. Not too pompous, not too indistinct, just the right measure of all the ingredients.
With “Being Below” there is definitely an emphasis on the mood shifts and swings. Produced with analogue and digital instruments, it gives you an intimate chance to see for yourself how good a trip of introspective soundscape can be. At it’s best you might just wanna relax.
El músico, escritor y fotógrafo norteamericano Will Long aka Celer reside en Tokio.
Celer se formó en 2005 por Danielle Baquet y Long. Desde 2009 Celer es el proyecto en solitario de Will Long, quien también es curador y director del sello Two Acorns.
Nuestro protagonista posee una larga discografía dedicada a los paisajes sonoros y a la música ambient.
“Being Below” es un mini-álbum de canciones cortas – a diferencia de otros discos – creado con instrumentos digitales y analógicos, grabado en 2020.
Las seis piezas de este LP muestran un estado de ánimo de paz y armonía, con el pasado y el futuro, con quienes están y no lo están.
El tiempo transcurre lentamente mientras se escucha a “Being Below”, la nostalgia se evidencia en las notas melancólicas de los almohadones ambient que se despliegan en este disco.
Will Long con su música lleva al oyente a una escucha profunda que le permite hacerse preguntas y entrar en un estado meditativo.
Lush and slowly oscillating like a blanket of clouds, Being Below is the latest from Celer, out on Two Acorns. Drifting and shimmering like the sky above, being below this glory is audibly captured on this EP/CD. Six atmospheric and dreamlike tracks, Being Below is a lovely, relaxing look at synthesis, decay, oscillation, and stillness.
Celer’s latest is an ethereal gem, that floats as majestically and effortlessly as the clouds in the sky which inspired it. Being Below grows and shimmers in such a way that something somewhat minimal can at the same time be very grandiose. The perfect amount of tones and layers combine to form an angelic chorus that is both delicate and robust. A seeming contradiction in terms, Being Below captures all the glory of the sky, its many phases of the day, and the plush feeling of its gossamer denizens with such ease. An all encompassing look at such a vast space without seeming overdone is truly well thought out and well played. Recorded with both digital and analog instruments, this fantastic skyscape was then mastered by German sound artist Stephan Mathieu. The product of this, as mentioned above, is a well done piece of ethereal, ambient music. Although short on run time, Being Below stands up to repeated listens, and each successive spin uncovers more hidden gems in the cottony layers. Composed for the place where Earth and space meet, both sides come into play, and wherever the listener places their imaginary locus shifts how the sound is heard. This subjective aural viewpoint adds extra depth to the piece, and opens up another dimension to the listening experience.
Wonderfully expressive without being overbearing, Being Below from Celer is a fantastic soundscape for the world above. Drifting past, each day into the next, this loop free time loop tells the tale of ten million words in only six tracks. Contemplative, and at the same time, easily accessible, this EP is a gorgeous piece of layered sound.
Can Celer surprise me? The answer is, surprisingly perhaps, yes. It is not so much the music itself that is the surprise here, but the briefness of these pieces. I would not say I am an expert on the music of Celer, but I heard a fair share over the years and one thing that is a common thing with Celer is that he usually takes his time to tell a musical story. On this album, we find six pieces, spanning just eighteen minutes of music. It is also available on 12″, and perhaps this is the classic ‘mini LP’ that was a common feature in the 80s. Celer informs that the music was created with digital and analogue instruments and that it is “an exercise in loop-less writing”. As said, the surprise here is not in the music itself, at least superficially, which is the sort of ambient music we know from Celer, but upon closer inspection, one could indeed say that these six pieces have a more song-like structure to them. Slow-moving structures of sustaining sounds but less loop-based, as far as I can judge. These pieces act like water paintings as far as I am concerned, depicting blue skies, blue seas, all blurring together in lots of blue shades. It is a place where light and dark meet. Again, superficially, one could say that this a very light album, but there is, blurring again, always that darker undercurrent that is also a trademark of Celer’s music. It is, all in all, quite a surprising album, and this should be no spoiler: I’d love to have the full-length album approach for this.