CÉTIEU | Ceiling Stories

BLWBCK052 | Release Date : 23th April, 2014
Tape {66 c.} C60 / Digital
(orders includes advanced digital album)

Cétieu is one of three anagram pseudonyms for Tekla Mrozowicka, a producer, poet and painter as well as former editor-in-chief of various music magazines throughout Warsaw, Poland. Ceiling Stories, the latest addition to her growing discography, is an ambient journey made up of spacious drones and resonating textures. Just as an impressionist painter places emphasis on the accurate depiction of light and it’s changing qualities, Mrozowicka focuses on small details and blurred emotions to create introspective and ethereal pieces, sonic places where our mind can wander through space and time without limits.

1 – Ceiling City (for Pan•American) 05:28
2 – Waiting for somebody or something 17:50
3 – Sleeplessness 02:07
4 – Flyermelon 04:34
5 – The Dreamers 09:02
6 – Self-portrait 06:31
7 – Chrysanthèmes 14:26

Music composed, recorded and mixed by Tekla Mrozowicka
in January 2014, Warsaw (Poland)
Mastering: Łukasz Szyda & Tekla Mrozowicka

Like a devil in the box, cétieu appeared suddenly on our little Polish ambient scene. In less than one year Tekla has published several albums on Bandcamp, most of them under the cétieu banner and a few as técieu, which explores areas a bit noisier. There’s also a third musical aspect of Tekla, that is éctieu which is assumed to focus on dub/techno forms, but so far nothing has been officially released. Anyway, there’s a lot of music to explore on Bandcamp – girl, where do you find the time to record it all? “Ceiling Stories” is the first material released on physical media – in this case a cassette – for the French label BLWBCK associated with the gentlemen from Saåad. Although a selection of older publications will be released during the summer as CDr or cassette limited editions. To tell the truth the project has little in common with the devils mentioned in the previous paragraph. Nor the angels. It’s the kind of ambient that Tekla could have easily released under her own name, with no title, no artwork on the cover and tracks simply numbered from 1 to 6. And it would have been fine – an 100% open field available to the listener’s imagination. Without imposing an author’s interpretation, without suggesting even through a single word what images the music should project inside the mind. For we are dealing here with static drones, suspended in space, stagnant like hot afternoon air. Listening to the first two pieces, “Ceiling City” dedicated to Pan•American and the longest track on the tape, “Waiting For Somebody or Something”, I was laying on the couch and staring through a roof window. When a bird appeared within my eyesight, I felt like I was looking at him for a minute or longer. Time literally slows down, clock hands take a break and such concepts as a moment, an hour or tomorrow start to manifest strong signs of abstraction. These are trance, ethereal and in spite of all quite warm soundscapes of subtly changing hues and saturations. Hakobune occurred to me. Or few Hawgood things. Tekla doesn’t really stand out from her more experienced colleagues. “Sleeplessness” and especially “Flyermelon” bring some dynamism to the “Ceiling Stories”. The latter is like a summer storm, when heavy rain drops are pounding on my roof. A quick and sharp spurt, yet with full awareness that time will slow down again in just a second. It cannot go differently since another piece is entitled “The Dreamers”, although later a few darker shades come to the fore. Along with “Self –portrait” and “Chrysanthèmes” the listener is completely absorbed by the sounds generated by cétieu. The last track with all its inter-penetrating layers closes this aural story in truly epic style. And only this sudden ending, as if cut with a knife, seems like a tiny joke, a wink to the person on the other side of the speakers: don’t forget yourself man, tomorrow you have to go to work anyway. It actually pulls out from a blissful half-dream; yet nothing stands in the way of playing “Ceiling Stories” one more time. This is perhaps the most mature production of the project to date, and at the same time a recapitulation of the first period of Tekla’s musical activity. The future of this charming dragon with three heads is drawn in bright colors. We support and look forward to more. – Santa Sangre Magazine

The music of Cétieu flutters lightly against the healthy shade of the sun, taking rest in its presence with a grateful smile and a casual stance. The light touches the green-toned leaves softly with its kind, sunlit palm. Supple drones, full of light, wash over the music. The soothing colour of green has been said to help restore the physically and psychologically wounded, cleaning away the dirt of life’s dilemmas with its welcoming serenity. The colour helps to slow down and block out the blood-red rush that tries to curb our own careful search for peace. It provides the inner calm and the sense of wellbeing that we all long for. Ambient music does much the same. Ceiling Stories is a calm sanctuary. Ambient musician Tekla Mrozowicka takes good care of her music, and she infuses it with a wispy, ethereal warmth that, while far-reaching, still clings to its inseparable sense of security like a child’s outstretched palm clutching a parent’s hand. Her drones are sleepy security blankets, consoling guardian angels that protect us when we are vulnerable, low, dejected or rejected. In this world, it may be the case that our perception of security is just a false reality. But Mrozowicka makes you believe in the fairy tale. Ceiling Stories doesn’t just restore the soul – it comes to heal the mind with its ‘restoration of memories’. Music heals. The thin, higher drone is a pale, sickly face that comes close to sighing out of the world. It lies in a ruined state, its body as old as Jurassic stone. The lower drone injects some substance into its body, and the slow light filters in. She opens out the music in a beautiful, swaying motion, the drones dappled with an approachable, kind light. This kind of music is incredibly delicate. The lower drone rocks a little with a pocket of light turbulence, but its a gentle drop, the rippled air of a dove’s wings as it flies by. It comes close to cracking the calm, as if it were a transit-torn box of mirrors with the words HANDLE WITH CARE and THIS WAY UP barely legible, roughened up by the delivery process. The drones are, at times, shrouded in tension, but it goes largely unnoticed; its the kind that tightens the muscles for a second or two. She paints her shy tones onto the music like a modern Michelangelo, with beautiful blurs and subtle colours, so subtle that one colour shares many shades. “Waiting for somebody or something” drifts its scent of tension in on the breeze, the open door letting the intruder in, guilty of letting the past back in, and the doorway obscures the light with its vacant, ghostly presence, someone you hoped would be standing there. It’s mixed in with the desperate ache of sadness; the longing, the sobbing and the smothering sensation of panic; of dreams ending, and the need to be patient as we continue to wait. Axl Rose was right when he said all we needed was just a little patience. Well, drone music requires some level of patience and commitment, too, and it offers the greatest reward in music when we reach the other side. The cooler piano of ‘Sleeplessness’ is a dreamy track that ripples with delay. The notes echo outwards, ageing as they progress, every repeated note adding another year until the note becomes just as old as the ancient tree. Like their inner rings of age, the notes loop back in on themselves, creating a peaceful circle that cannot be broken. For nine minutes, “The Dreamers” levitates just above the leaves. This drone is a slow one, but it is never stagnant or static. In fact, the slower tempo is necessary, because it green lights the calm mood and cuts the resting heartbeat to half its normal speed. It stretches out like a desert under a clearing sky, blazing in its serene warmth. Ceiling Stories is a calming place, a tree-lined clearing that offers renewal and rejuvenation, basking in the new life that the light has come to bring. – James Catchpole for A Closer Listen

Cétieu’s “Ceiling Stories” is the embodiment of quiet joys. Over the course of the seven tracks the mood is kept constant. Pieces flow into each other allowing for the album to take on the dimensions of a larger piece of work. Drones are kept light and delicate. Melodies are infused deep within the song structure. Evolution of the tracks happens at an incredibly slow rate akin to Éliane Radigue’s subtle works. With such sunny tracks “Ceiling Stories” manages to absolutely soothe the soul. The oscillations are extraordinary for Cétieu and manage to bring real depth to the compositions. Opening with “Ceiling City (for Pan•American)” sets the literal tone for the album. Calm collected and confident it hovers gently above. The melodic elements are warm bright happy things. “Waiting for Somebody or Something” is the heart of the album from which all other songs flow. The simplicity is wonderful. Deep listening is demanded of the listener. Shifts within the sound give it a romantic sensibility. Slowly unfurling the song manages to create an entire self-contained world that glimmers with possibility. “Sleeplessness” returns the listener to reality. “The Dreamers” keeps its voice down unwilling to engage in any kind of volume change. On “Self-Portrait” the tone barely registers as changed yet with great concentration the evolution is clear. Finishing off with the other long player on the album “Chrysanthèmes” ends the album off on a pastoral note. “Ceiling Stories” is a charming album the sort of thing that shows how heavenly music can be. – Beach Sloth (8.2/10)