Wind Deities

Eisuke Yanagisawa it was who used a bat detector to create an interesting record of bat-frequency sounds around 2011 or 2012. Now this Japanese film-maker and researcher has made Path Of The Wind (GRUENREKORDER GRUEN 182), a lovely record featuring the sounds of the Aeolian harp, also called the wind-harp. Long a favourite with people who love the weather and the environment, these devices (not much more than a resonating box and some strings to be blown by the wind) have a history going back to the 17th century and have even featured in classical composition and poems from the romantic era.

Eisuke has built his own models, positioned them in various parts of Japan over the last few years, and gathered in the enclosed recordings. In the sleeve notes, he expends a paragraph or two explaining the precision of his thinking as regards optimal microphone placement, which is but one of many indexes to the thoroughness of his thought and execution; I have no doubt it extends to all of his projects. Some of the recordings allow background details, like the cry of a seagull or a passing ferry, to glide into the picture, and other pieces refer to aspects of the landscape, such as an ancient tree or the “ridge line”. Mostly it’s this gorgeous natural unobtrusive drone sound, moving at an unhurried rate, which is guaranteed to induce feelings of inner calm and fulfilment without being tarnished by soppy “new age” ideas about healing and relaxing.

The locations are photographed and annotated, in highly concise form; at one time, this label used to spend a lot of money on production of colour booklets of images and notes, but perhaps Eisuke Yanagisawa is just naturally a person of few words. Very good. From 17 August 2018.