Published Aug 30, 2016In a barn in the woods of Pennsylvania, sculptor and industrial designer Harry Bertoia devoted himself to what he called his "sonambient" works, recording the lush overtones produced by his own metallic sculptures and gongs. In 1970, he privately pressed up the first selection of these recordings as an LP, and in the final moments of his life, chose more works from his archive to spread across an additional ten slabs of vinyl.
Now, a collection of the artist's sound experiments has been amassed, restored and lovingly packaged into a gorgeous boxed set by the curatorial masterminds over at Important Records. This is music to be completely immersed within, to be pondered as deeply as the layers of sustained tones that Bertoia concocted. At times, the sounds shimmer, and at times the roar is as deafening as that of a waterfall. These reverberations radiate freely and are felt as well as heard, made to be experienced with as many sensory organs as possible.
The lengthy pieces can be digested one at a time or in clusters, yet it's nearly impossible to get through the entire collection in one spontaneous burst; attentiveness is necessary, as is a set of open ears. The payoff for such dedication is monumental, as gargantuan as the stack of CDs that showcase what Bertoia spent his final 20 years creating.
Cheers to Important for putting together what may possibly be the most mind-blowing reissue this year. (Important)