In the fall of 2012, I was asked to create music for a live yoga event at Yougenji temple in Northern Tokyo. The performance was centered on the yoga instructor with the musician playing to the back of the audience, so that music served more as a live soundtrack for the event. For this I created a new piece of music using two reel-to-reel tape machines, and two tape loops of keyboards with similar time structures, but each with different, overlapping chords. They played simultaneously, crossing in different combinations, and with manual alterations of the volume and high/low settings on the machines. While changing, it maintained the same sound and makeup throughout.
During the performance many people fell asleep, and seemed to drift off to another place. Sometimes it seemed like they were waking up, but it was only the evolution of the yoga exercise matching the music. Surprisingly, throughout the entire performance, and ever since, whenever hearing the piece of music, I am immediately reminded of my grandmother. When I was 6 years old I moved with my parents to the house of my great grandfather, next door to where my father grew up, and where my grandmother still lived. She had been bed-ridden for several years by that time, and would remain so until her death when I was 11.
Somehow this music continued to fill my mind with those memories of sitting in her room, watching tv late at night with her when my parents were out to dinner, or the hazy lace curtains on the windows, moving in the afternoon breeze. I remembered that stillness, the warmth of her voice without any complaints, despite the restricted isolation, and the ever-present surroundings never changing. Seeing the audience in these motionless-to-waking states brought this memory back to me, though exactly why I can't be sure. However, because of this, the music was given a background, and a dedication.
- Will Long, 2015
Akagi is available on CD, and as a digital download in MP3, ALAC (Apple Lossless), and FLAC.
Celer is Will Long, an American musician, educator, writer, and photographer currently living in Tokyo, Japan. Celer was formed in 2005 by Danielle Baquet and Will Long. From 2009 to the present, Celer is the solo project of Will Long. He curates and manages the label Two Acorns, and is involved with the Normal Cookie and Bun Tapes labels. Currently he is collaborating with artists such as with Miko under the name Oh, Yoko, and has collaborated with other artists such as Christoph Heemann as Hollywood Dream Trip. He has been a part of other projects with Hakobune, Machinefabriek, Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mathieu Ruhlmann, and Yui Onodera.