CELER: Pockets Of Wheat (Soundscaping Records)


Posted on Mar 11th 2010 12:44 am

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Celer: Pockets Of Wheat

Pockets Of Wheat
Soundscaping Records 2010
01 Track. 59mins10secs

With the untimely death of multi-instrumentist Danielle Baquet-Long in July 2009, Celer, the duo she and husband Will Long formed in 2006, came to an abrupt end. Yet, in the space of three years, the pair have recorded a considerable amount of music, and beside a number of self-releases, part of their work surfaced on a wide variety of labels, including Spekk, And/OAR, Digitalis, Smallfish and Home Normal, and releases continue to filter out.

One such new release is Pockets Of Wheat, published on Burgeoning Norwegian imprint Soundscaping, following on from last year’s excellent Air Resort by Christophe Bailleau. Recorded during a three-day drive from California to Mississippi in January 2007, and inspired by the sound of wheat gently waving through the wind in fields stretching out from the back of their hotel in rural Texas, Pockets Of Wheat contains just one hour-long sound formation built from field recordings, with Danielle playing cello, violin, piano and tambourine and providing vocals, while Will also contributes piano and tape. Culled from over five hours of recordings, the resulting piece is the fruit of intense post-processing. A slowly pulsating contemplative drone which evolves throughout, yet appears to never change, this monolithic piece is unexpectedly vivid and evocative.

It is totally impossible to identify any of the original sound sources here, so dense and drastic is the processing. The field recordings, acoustic instruments and voice have all been melted down into soft soundwaves which are then left to wax and wane throughout, with very little change in the process. This is as much an invittion to reflection as a fascinating journey through somewhat arid yet surprisingly fertile soundscapes. With very little to hang on to, the mind is left wandering, only occasionaly recalled by a slightly stronger pulse or a momentary minor change of pace in the breathing of the record.

Despite its sparse and dry nature and its restricted sonic palette, Pockets Of Wheat is a totally absorbing record which, through almost imperceptible changes, never ceases to fascinate. This is, also, a vibrant memorial piece to Danielle Baquet-Long. Celer may, as a project, have reached a premature end, but this legacy album is nothing short of breathtaking.


Celer (MySpace) | Soundscaping Records

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