Kami-Katsura is a small suburban district in Kyoto, Japan. Bounded to the east by residential and light industrial areas that run up to the Hozu River, to the west it is held in check by wooded slopes and valleys where the population falls away as the altitude gently climbs. For all the movement of people and vehicles, the district exudes a certain tranquillity which is reflected in the acoustic atmospheres from before dawn until after dusk.
Angus Carlyle spent three weeks over a period of two years walking up and down a parcel of land measuring 500 metres long and no more than 100 metres wide, looking, listening and recording. Although it was the inspiration behind his return to the Kami-Katsura district, he never quite managed to capture the striking sounds of a bamboo forest animated by wind that he had first heard on his visit in 2006.
Other acoustic events did make their way into his microphones: rain dripping into a cemetery watering-can; the heavy passage of the maroon trains of the Hankyu company gleaming north and south on the Arashiyama Line; the hubbub of one café and the more subdued mood of another; the river bubbling and sliding through the valley, birds and insects marking out the air with their noises; people wandering the forest trail or crossing the asphalt roads.
In “Some Memories of Bamboo”, these unprocessed recordings have been stitched together to evoke the heard life of Kami-Katsura, the district’s textures offered more colour through the short stories that accompany each track in the CD booklet.