The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Listen: Harry Bertoia recordings

May 2015

Listen to recordings of sound sculptor and furniture designer Harry Bertoia's Sonambient sculptures

Matt Krefting writes about the designer and artist in The Wire 375: "At first I’m hesitant to touch them, until Harry Bertoia’s son Val, acting as my guide, tells me that it’s okay as long as I’m gentle. I’m looking at the human-sized metal rods ranked before me like sonic soldiers in Harry Bertoia’s Sonambient barn in Bally, Pennsylvania, on a cold afternoon in January. I tentatively approach the sculpture that sounded the most comforting in the performance cum demonstration Val had just given me. With gloved hands I gently nudge one of a spray of bells atop the rod, causing it to swing towards the others without hitting them. To get a result, I more firmly cluster some rods together with both hands. As I slowly release them each bangs into its neighbours, creating a wholly unpredictable series of lovely chimes that linger for minutes after they were struck."

Sonambient: Recordings Of Harry Bertoia is set to be released in September by Important.

Check out a photo gallery of Bertoia's Sonambient sculptures here

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