When talking about extremely prolific artist that manage to deliver amazing quality recordings with every new release, Celer is one of the names that pops up. At the time of writing, the Celer discography mentions 52 titles released on a label, and another 33 self-released titles!
“I, Anatomy“, released as a double vinyl album (no digital download yet, unfortunately), is not the latest release, but, in fact, that is not the point at all.
Unlike decades ago, there’s no point in collecting, trying to be complete. The more important point is to simply enjoy what you encounter.
As Will Thomas Long puts it: “I know it is difficult for people to keep up, but for me, I just share things with people that I feel or assume might be interested in the music, because they’re just the people I have contact with, hoping that in maybe one of the releases, something will strike them or have some personal relation. I don’t expect anyone to listen to or enjoy everything, but it’s something that is just natural for me, making and working on music, and keeping doing it. Trust me, I’d love to make only 1 album a year, but it just doesn’t ever work out that way. Not yet, at least.”
I assume the tragic history of Celer is known by most that are familiar with their music.
Celer was formed in 2005 as a husband-wife duo of Danielle Baquet and Will Long. Their music reflected their harmony. After Danielle’s tragic death in 2009, caused by heart failure, Will continued to record music under the same name.
In loving memory of his wife.
Is it important to mention this tragedy with almost every new review?
Yes, I think it is, because most – if not all – of Celer’s music is about memories.
And memories are definitely the basic theme of “I, Anatomy“.
Quite a lot of Celer-albums contain long-form ambient music, which can easily be referred to as ‘drone music’. Will does not really like it when his music is referred to as ‘drone music’.
“I don’t think this describes my music at all. Maybe it does and has sometimes in the past, but not always. The dictionary definition of ‘drone’ is ‘a continuous, low humming sound’. I know that in many and most times, my music is not continuous (other than the continuance of loops), but it is rarely ever consistently low.”
Though “drone music” and “ambient music” may refer to a strictly defined style of composing music, for most people it’s a reference to a mood, and a certain way of designing soundscapes.
“People use the word ‘drone’ or ‘ambient’ to describe something with reverb, sustain, or a pure sound that is continued fluidly. For instance, if you listen to the first musical part of ‘I, Anatomy’, it consists of two things, a piano note and bells, looped and repeating. They both have sustain and reverb, but I wouldn’t call it a ‘drone’. Most people would though..”
So, “I, Anatomy“ is not “long-form drone music”. At least, the first half of the double album isn’t. The first two sides of the album are short fragments of sounds, alternated with short field-recording fragments, bringing back memories that everyone probably can share in some way. It’s like when you’re browsing through a box full of long forgotten postcards. Different moods, different atmospheres, all fondly remembered.
“A few stories, put together with no previous purpose, than having their own place and time. In being put together, something new is formed. This was the basis for I, Anatomy. There wasn’t any intention, it was just a diary. These things happened, and became the source material, finding their directions from what was before directionless, and become the whole. Going back to these moments and memories,
I, Anatomy isn’t a story, it’s one hundred stories.”
The second half of the album consist of two EP’s that were previously released in strictly limited editions: “All At Once Is What Eternity Is” and “The Die That’s Caste”. They were included because this release was intended to be released in a singular edition this way, but that release never came to be (all music was recorded from 2005-2009).
“I, Anatomy“ starts with a fragment of a dialogue with a 103 years old friend. “We know where we’ve come (from), but we don’t know where we’re going”.
About 80 minutes – 100 stories – later, the most important question remaining, the ‘only one, always the same‘, is: “What are you running away from?”
I bet that’s the hard one to answer.
CELER – I, ANATOMY (fragments)