Path of the Wind | Eisuke Yanagisawa


Path of the Wind | Eisuke Yanagisawa
Gruen 182 | Audio CD + Digital > [order]


The Aeolian Harp (also called Wind Harp) is a string instrument that is played by natural wind. It sounds like layered feedback or drones with rich harmonic textures that will change continuously according to the wind direction, strength and consistency. One day, I bought the materials at the local DIY store and built a small Aeolian Harp. I brought the harp outside on windy days, but it made no sound at all. Through trial and error, by altering the string materials, tension, and the angle against the wind, it finally produced a sound.


The harp resonates with the surrounding environment, changing from place to place. I put two lavalier microphones into each of its two holes to clearly record the tiny resonant sounds, without too much wind interference. What is intriguing to me is that the recording will inevitably include environmental sounds from near and far which are condensed and slightly modulated by the harp. In a way, I use the harp as a kind of transducer as well as sounding body to interact with the environment through the forces of the wind. The recordings themselves are ecological, meteorological and geomorphological observations at a certain time and place.



1. Ferry Passing
Recorded on the seashore of the uninhabited island called Narugashima in the Hyogo Prefecture, where stiff winds blew intermittently. The sustained low-pitch sounds come from the ferries passing each other off the coast.



2. Seagull
Recorded on the Kehi no Matsubara, a quiet and scenic beach with many pine trees. You can hear the seagull screaming and people chatting while strolling. The beach is located at the foot of the Tsuruga Peninsula where seven nuclear power plants are currently in operation.





3. In a Park
Recorded at the Nodagawa Shinsui Park in Yosano-cho, Kyoto Prefecture. Yosano-cho is a rural town on the alluvial fan surrounded by the mountains; the park itself is located along the Noda River.



4. Old Camellia Tree
Recorded near the 1,200-year-old Camellia tree (Camellia japonica, ‚Kurotsubaki‘) located deep in the valley in Yosano-cho. The height and branch spread of the tree is about 10m, presumably one of the biggest and oldest of its kind.



5. Ridge Line
Recorded in the morning at the Kaetsu Soho Park located half way up Mt. Oeyama in Yosano-cho. Nature and objects on the mountainside fade in and out as the place where the sunlight shines gradually changes.



6. Hegurajima
Hegurajima is a small island located in the Sea of Japan at the far north of the Ishikawa Prefecture. There are various small shrines and cairns on the island. I set up the harp near the Yasaka shrine in which the god of epidemic prevention is enshrined.





7. Kinshozan
Kinshozan is a small mountain located in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture. The mountain is famous for its abundance of fossils like corals, bivalves and snails which inhabited it about 250 million years ago. People started exploiting its high quality limestone and marble during the Edo period, and the mining-activities are still going on today. I set up the newly-made harp at the watchtower of the mountain where I could see the whole mining area. The intermittent sounds come from the drilling of rocks under the cliff.







7 Tracks (41′14″)
CD (300 copies)


All the recordings are unprocessed field recordings using Aeolian Harps of our own making. Recorded in the Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukui, Ishikawa and Gifu prefecture, Japan from September 2014 to November 2017.
Recording, Edit, Texts: Eisuke Yanagisawa
Audio Mastering: Lasse-Marc Riek
Photography: Shin Tukinaga
Artwork: Takamitsu Ohta


Thanks to: Akitsugu Maebayashi, Haruka Suzuki, Johann Dietrich, John Grzinich, Kosuke Nakagawa, Ryohei Iwaki, Sebastian Scherer, Taiki Yuzawa, Yusuke Gushiken


Field Recording Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2018 / Gruen 182 / LC 09488 / GEMA / EAN 4050486131473





Beach Sloth
Eisuke Yanagisawa shows love for their surroundings with the surreal drones of “Path of the Wind”. Infinitely delicate the way that the pieces evolve seems to go for a meditative, fully immersive sort of scenario. By making sure that these field recordings float further and further away from their origins, Eisuke Yanagisawa makes sure that the whole of the scope works wonders in gradually weaving itself into the mind. Hard to precisely pin down, besides the obvious drone influences and environmental elements Eisuke Yanagisawa utilizes elements of classical into the mix ensuring that everything comes together in a grand stream of consciousness style.
Opening up the album and setting the tone for what follows “Ferry Passing” has a high-pitched, uneasy glimmer to it. Nearly metallic at times, the whole of the piece evolves at a deliberate pace. Further embracing the oddity “Seagull” continues to explore aural underbellies, this one somewhat lightened by the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Near silence rules over the intimate “In a Park”. A static drone radiates over the course of the incredibly subtle “Old Camellia Tree” by far the highlight of the album. Strangely beautiful “Hegurajima” continues along at its own unique pace. With “Kinshozan” Eisuke Yanagisawa brings the entire album to a stunning, oftentimes surprisingly lovely, conclusion, with little snippets of pure bliss hidden amongst the many layers.
“Path of the Wind” proves Eisuke Yanagisawa to be a masterful storyteller all without a single word spoken.


Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
[…] This new trio of releases by Germany’s Gruenrekorder all deal with field recordings, yet none in a very traditional way; not your usual ‚let’s tape some bird calls‘ type of thing. First there is ‚Path Of The Wind‘ by Eisuke Yanagisawa, who set up an Aeolian Harp of his own making and recorded the instrument in a bunch of locations. The Aeolian Harp is also known as wind harp and it’s were wind plays the strings attached to it. Yanagisawa learned how to work it, with string s being attached, tension and angles to capture the right amount of wind, which causes the strings to vibrate and thus a rich pattern of harmonic overtones emerge. I must say I can understand his choice of title, as it is the path of the wind that causes these strings to vibrate, but I think it’s also quite a terrible new age like title. That title is the only downside to the album, as the music pieces, all seven of them, are great. The Aeolian Harp is set-up in quiet areas, a beach, a park in a rural town, near a 1200-year old tree and sometimes we hear a bit of the environment through the ringing and singing of the strings; some sea waves, a bird flying over, but it’s the harmonics of the instrument that make the piece. Obviously there is some overlap in sound here and there, yet there is also quite a bit of variation in these pieces; some are sustaining quite a bit, while ‚Ridge Line‘ has a more careful off and on approach. The overall recording quality is excellent; there isn’t any wind that blows down the microphones, so the emphasis lies on the instrument. This I thought is a great release. It’s field recordings, it’s sound art, it’s music and it reminded me of Alvin Lucier’s ‚Music On A Long Thin Wire‘, which I guess is always a thing. […]