Tip! Objetos Musicais is a collection of 13 sound pieces created by artists from South America and Switzerland, who work in an intermediate zone among the craft of luthiers, visual arts and experimental music. Their works evoke the visionary ideas of Walter Smetak, a Swiss composer who lived in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil). Smetak was a pioneer of musical experimentation in that country and developed, in the 60s and 70s, a musical poetics that was captured in two seminal albums, Smetak (1974) and Interregno (1980), both of which, after being out of print for a long time, have been reissued today, hence the motivation for this tribute. On those two albums, Smetak combined Afro-Brazilian ritual traditions, theosophy, microtonality studies, collective improvisation and the use of unconventional musical instruments, which he called Plasticas Sonoras.
Smetak came to build around 150 acoustic instruments, many of which are true sound sculptures of great visual impact. This latter aspect is the most directly evoked one on this album—and it so happens that the Smetakian spirit tunes in with a new community of contemporary artists, who relate to the work of the so-called "experimental luthiers", artists who build their own instruments (Marco Scarassatti, Philipp Läng, Maria Anália), lead them towards radical extended versions (Rubén D'Hers, Claudio Merlet), develop hybrid projects involving instruments and sound sculpture (Javier Bustos, Álvaro Icaza and Verónica Luyo, Juan Pablo Egúsquiza, Edgardo Rudnitzky) or take the exploration towards the building of resonant machines (Nicole L'Huillier, Zimoun, Cod.Act, O Grivo), without these categories being mutually exclusive, but rather tending to mix, thereby opening up new sonic possibilities.
This new community of artists has begun to create a whole new field of research and, in a way, a new discipline, understandable within the context of this new paradigm opened by the maker culture, which has pushed creators and developers from all over the world to conceive alternative—anti-hegemonic and DIY—forms of production. Therefore, this collection allows the artists to evoke Walter Smetak but also to connect his work to this new scene—to which it precedes—a link for this new art that makes its way at some point among the work of experimental luthiers, sound art, experimental music and the DIY ethics.