Sunday, 14 December 2008

CELER - Nacreous Clouds

“Nacreous clouds” is just another definition for “Polar stratospheric clouds” or PSCs, whose abnormal shining occurs before dawn or after dusk due to the sunlight received from beyond the horizon, a luminosity that is also reflected to the ground in those circumstances. To sonically represent this phenomenon, Will Thomas Long and Dani Baquet-Long recorded several segments of music and human activity, either by playing regular instruments (cello, violin, piano and bells) or aptly described “household sounds” (water, TV static, etc.) together with “classic” field recordings. Afterwards, they made tape loops of the whole, setting the playback at various speeds in different combinations, the results processed by laptops and “channelled back out into a Kaiser filter”.

If you think that it’s possible to detect even a slight particle of the above mentioned sources while listening to this CD you’re completely wrong, as the 37 pieces forming this malleable architecture – improvable by shuffling the tracks according to the composers – are short glimpses of a state of conscious stupor that renders this work, in all probability, the best Celer album I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy. The “raw iridescent ambience” depiction used in the press release is a good one: umbrageous entities, whispered amorphousness, sudden disappearances and somnolent reminiscences are all part of a same mental condition, the nerves receiving a much needed rubdown that transforms a latent tenseness into a resinous melancholy. Goodbye to vigilance, welcome to inside responsiveness. A fine paradigm of contemporary ambient at low volume, but also an exciting titillation of particular frequencies as the mixture is left free to reveal its stifled resonances more deliberately.