Label: Third Man Records
Format: 11LP Box Set + Book
Genre: Sound Art
* Deluxe metallic cardstock box, tip-on LP jackets, 11xLP standard weight LPs, 80-page book * Harry Bertoia’s Complete Sonambient LP Collection, featuring all 11 of Bertoia’s original records newly restored from their master tapes and housed in replica jackets. A deluxe box, printed with metallic inks and tip-on style print assembly, holds the 11 discs as well as a 80 page book containing a lengthy historic essay, Smithsonian interview with Harry Bertoia, exclusive Sonambient era material from the Bertoia archive, modern and archival photos of the Bertoia barn as well as reflections on Bertoia from various contributors.
Beginning in the 1950’s, renowned sculptor Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) created the term Sonambient to describe the sound and environment created by his beautiful metal sculptures which, when activated, created shimmering ambient drones and lush harmonic overtones. He curated a massive selection of his sculptures and gongs resulting in a harmonious orchestra of his metal works and recorded these sound experiments late into the night. Bertoia dedicated the last twenty years of his life to his sound work and in 1970 he released the first Sonambient LP. In 1978, in the final months of his life, he selected tapes from his archive and produced 10 more records but wouldn't live long enough to see them through production, but they became legendary releases (and quite valuable) in the art/audio world.
"I don't hold onto terms like music and sculpture anymore. Those old distinctions have lost all their meaning." --Harry Bertoia, 1976
"This 11 disc set was the culmination of an exhaustive (and exhausting) crowdfunded mission to digitalise and restore the furniture designer and sound sculptor’s recordings. Containing the entire original Sonambient series, the set presented an extended sound environment you could live within. Philip Clark said: “Composers traditionally impose their harmonic thinking on to sound, but Bertoia employed precisely the opposite approach. He aimed instead to drown listeners in sound, baptising ears into his way of hearing.” TheWire Best Albums of 2015