** To be released in mid/late April 2021. Edition of 500. Gatefold Edition. Includes booklet with photos and texts in Portuguese and English ** Walter Smetak was a Swiss cellist, composer, inventor of musical instruments, sculptor and writer who developed his career in Salvador, Brazil, and became an emblematic figure of the Bahian avant-garde and a key part of the cultural climate that made the rise of tropicália possible. Since 1969, he has carried out various workshops of experimental music at University of Bahia. His music was materialized in two albums: "Smetak" (1974) and "Interregno" (1980). “Smetak” was produced by Caetano Veloso and Roberto Santana, with the support of Gilberto Gil.
There he unfolded a radical sound universe, based on the investigation of Afro-Brazilian ritualistic traditions, microtonality studies and collective improvisational open processes, always under the influence of theosophy, which he discovered in Brazil, and which allowed him to generate a symbolism represented in the construction of his own unconventional instruments, many of them of a sculptural nature, made with unusual materials such as PVC pipes, pumpkins and polystyrene foam, which he called plásticas sonoras. Around 150 instruments were created by Smetak, many of them in a surrealist style. They have been exhibited on various occasions in museums and galleries.
His music was often based on graphic scores, many of them of great beauty. In addition to Smetak, Caetano Veloso and Roberto Santana, musicians such as Gereba, Tuzé Abreu, Djalma Correa, Capenga, among others, participated in the recording of this album. The author of one of the most important studies on Smetak, Marco Scarassatti, has written on the work of the Swiss-Brazilian artist: “His original and metaphysical work goes beyond any mysticism created around his figure. He investigated the relationship between sound and light, space and form, microtonality, collective improvisation, as a sound alchemist, a multimedia and unplugged prophet-visionary. While transforming matter, Smetak transformed himself and many of those around him.”
This reissue reproduces the much sought after original 1974 edition, published by Phillips. It includes the catalog of instruments used, adds a booklet with new photos and presents the remastered audio. The liner notes were written by Caetano Veloso. This project is part of Incidencias Sonoras: Coincidencia experimental music & sound art platform, by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.