A few years ago I took a road trip with my 80-year old uncle through parts of the American southwest. We drove to Moab, where the sunset turned the canyon walls orange in the early evening, and after midnight, passing puffy clouds still showed through the the navy blue sky. In the morning, the buttes seemed brilliant bleached in sunlight, and the view from above the canyon was completely silent save for the wind, and birds occasionally flying past. In the Needles district, the centuries-old petroglyphs were mixed with graffiti; spraypaint cans lying half-submerged rusted in the sand below. We drove through the back roads of the La Sal Mountains, and down across the windswept grey Colorado plateau.
Past the expanses of Monument Valley, on the outskirts of Kayenta, rainstorms loomed in the distance as teenage hitchhikers dotted the roadsides, along which were makeshift souvenir shops, alone like fireworks stands after a passed holiday. Climbing out of the desert, we passed through Aspen, through the ski resorts and celebrity mansions, where the average annual household income is $69,000, compared to $21,000 in Kayenta. The next day, our drive ended near Ouray, the fog rolling over the evergreen-lined roads.
Several years later, after leaving California, I put together a collection of tracks made with an electric piano and a wooden flute. Two tracks were copied onto two sun-baked cassette tapes I had found on the dashboard of a car, and the other two from a warped 12" test pressing. Revisiting these pieces after living in Japan for several years, they instantly reminded me of the trip, and what I left behind in the United States. The tapes fluttered and stuck, drenched in hiss and grime. The record skipped, wavered, and dropped in and out. Yet with these imperfections, it completely reflected my memory of the places, and what they represented. There are sides to everything, whether it causes you to change or not.
Inspired by the American Southwest, "How could you believe me when I told you that I loved you when you know I've been a liar all my life" is the new album by American musician Celer, aka Will Long, now living in Japan. Sourced from an electric piano and wooden flute, tape loops were copied to sun-baked cassette tapes, and a warped vinyl tester, using the most basic format-inherent effects. Based on an idea of primitive Americana, it can be seen as a mediation on the different sides of music and cultural perception, or a reflection of inherent imperfections.
アメリカ南西部にインスパイヤされた "How could you believe me when I told you that I loved you when you know I've been a liar all my
released July 6, 2015
Music and photography by Will Long
Layout by Rutger Zuydervelt
Translation by Rie Mitsutake