Celer – Evaporate and Wonder (2012)


It’s presently 3:11am. The house is perfectly still and quiet, the only sounds to be heard are the occasional rustle of beds sheets and the tapping of my fingers on the screen writing this review. Of course, if you strained hard enough, you could probably just discern the gentle drone flowing softly from my headphones, but that is precisely the point; this is minimal, sparse music that asks shyly to be played during the witching hour, when the house is most silent, when mental cognisance begins to wane, when eyelids begin to droop. Evaporate and Wonder is that rare and elusive thing; a perfect substitute to silence, one that is better than the sound of nothing at all.

I can hear the softest ebbs and flows within the drone; thin, quavering melodies stretch out in the air like gossamer strands, rising and falling hypnotically yet only changing their volume by the minutest fraction. Have you ever gone outside on a cold winter morning, leaned your head back and exhaled, simply to see your breath appear in front of your eyes? Of course you have, everyone has. I still do it aged 19, and do you know why? Because its fascinating. Change the shape of your mouth and the force of your breath and you can alter the shape and distance and speed of the steam. Sometimes, instead of forcing it all at once, I breath out slowly, admiring the curlicues of steam exiting my mouth. That’s what Celer is doing here, altering the shape and force of his music and admiring its curlicues.

And you know how morning light is delicate and beautiful with its soft, pastel tones? And how there is a bite in the air, a sharpness, a crispness that burns the soft exposed skin of your nose and ears and waters your eyes? And how sounds feel almost muffled and subdued? It feels like Celer has picked one of those moments, where all of those sights and sounds and sensations are temporarily put aside as he tilts his head back and exhales, hearing nothing but the sound of his emptying lungs and seeing nothing more than minute water particles rise in the early daylight. Evaporate and Wonder is the distillation and dilation of a single yet oft-repeated moment, that instant of strange fixation and amusement and intrigue gleaned from an act we perform every moment of every day made observable. Evaporate and Wonder indeed.

I can’t describe to you the musical content of the two tracks of this album, drone and ambient cannot be defined in such a way. All I can offer are some of the feelings this music gives me, even though I know I haven’t even begun to adequately described how this makes me feel.