The Squid's Ear Magazine

Bertoia, Harry

Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Of Harry Bertoia [CD + DVD]

Bertoia, Harry: Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Of Harry Bertoia [CD + DVD] (Important Records)

Italian-born American artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer Harry Bertoia in a CD/DVD package containing historic recordings made in Harry Bertoia's Sonambient barn, where he developed sculptures with sonic properties, including four recently discovered audio recordings and a DVD of interview footage, showing Bertoia at work.
 

Price: $28.95



Quantity:

In Stock

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

product information:

Personnel:



Harry Bertoia-sound scuptures, performer

Oreste Bertoia-sound scuptures, performer

Ave Bertoia-vocals


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




UPC: 793447103419

Label: Important Records
Catalog ID: FW 1034CD
Squidco Product Code: 25164

Format: CD & DVD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold w/ 16 page booklet
DVD filmed in 1971.

CD recorded between 1969 and 1972.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Of Harry Bertoia is a deluxe CD/DVD package containing historic recordings made in Harry Bertoia's Sonambient barn. The DVD, a film titled Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture of Harry Bertoia, by Jeffrey and Miriam Eger, was shot in 1971 and follows Harry Bertoia in performance and interview throughout his Sonambient barn deep in the Pennsylvania woods. This film offers a rare opportunity to follow the artist in practice, listening carefully as he moves contemplatively through his sculptures and gongs.

Interview footage offers rare insight into Bertoia's inspiration and process. A separate CD contains four exclusive, recently discovered audio recordings. Included are the two earliest known collaborative tapes from Harry and brother Oreste, morning and evening sessions dated October 12, 1969, as well as a collaboration between the Bertoia brothers and their sister Ave who sings in careful unison with the overtones being produced by the sculptures. With the passing of Oreste Bertoia in 1972, these recordings mark the last meeting of all three Bertoia siblings.

A 16-page booklet includes many never before seen production stills shot by Jeffrey Eger. These iconic images capture the essence of the artist in practice. DVD is NTSC format, region free."-Important


Artist Biographies

"Harry Bertoia (March 10, 1915 in San Lorenzo, Pordenone, Italy - November 6, 1978 in Barto, Pennsylvania), was an Italian-born American artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer.

At the age of 15, given the choice to stay in drought ridden Italy or move to Detroit, Harry chose to adventure to America and live with his older brother, Oreste. After learning the language and the bus schedule, he enrolled in Cass Technical High School, where he studied art and design and learned the skill of handmade jewelry making. In 1936 he attended the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, now known as the College for Creative Studies. The following year in 1937 he received a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he encountered Walter Gropius, Edmund N. Bacon and Ray and Charles Eames and Florence Knoll for the first time."

Starting out as a painting student but soon being asked to take over the metal workshop in 1939, Bertoia taught jewelry design and metal work. Later, as the war effort made metal a rare and very expensive commodity he began to focus his efforts on jewelry making, even designing and creating wedding rings for Ray Eames and Edmund Bacon's wife Ruth. When all the metal was taken up by war efforts, he became the graphics instructor. Still at Cranbrook, in 1943 he married Brigitta Valentiner, and then moved to California to work for Charles and Ray at the Molded Plywood Division of the Evans Product Company. Bertoia worked there until 1946, then sold his jewelry and monotypes until obtaining work with the Electronics Naval Lab in La Jolla. In 1950, he was invited to move to Pennsylvania to work with Hans and Florence Knoll. (Florence was also a Cranbrook Graduate.) During this period he designed five wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection for Knoll. Among these was the famous diamond chair, a fluid, sculptural form made from a welded lattice work of steel.

In Bertoia's own words, "If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them."

The chairs were produced with varying degrees of upholstery over their light grid-work, and they were handmade at first because a suitable mass production process could not be found. Unfortunately, the chair edge utilized two thin wires welded on either side of the mesh seat. This design had been granted a patent to the Eames for the wire chair produced by Herman Miller. Herman Miller eventually won and Bertoia & Knoll redesigned the seat edge, using a thicker, single wire, and grinding down the edge of the seat wires at a smooth angle-the same way the chairs are produced today. Nonetheless, the commercial success enjoyed by Bertoia's diamond chair was immediate. It was only in 2005 that Bertoia's asymmetrical chaise longue was introduced at the Milan Furniture Fair and sold out immediately.

In the mid-1950s, the chairs being produced by Knoll sold so well that the lump sum payment arrangement from Knoll allowed Bertoia to devote himself exclusively to sculpture. He ultimately produced over 50 commissioned public sculptures, many of which are still viewable today. In the 1960s, he began experimenting with sounding sculptures of tall vertical rods on flat bases. He renovated the old barn into an atypical concert hall and put in about 100 of his favorite "Sonambient" sculptures. Bertoia played the pieces in a number of concerts and even produced a series of eleven albums, all entitled "Sonambient," of the music made by his art, manipulated by his hands along with the elements of nature. In the late 1990s, his daughter found a large collection of near mint condition original albums stored away on his property in Pennsylvania. These were sold as collector's items. In 2015, these Sonambient recordings are being re-issued by Important Records as a box set with a booklet of the history and previously unseen photos. Bertoia's work can be found in The Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover, Massachusetts), the Brooklyn Museum (New York City), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Dallas Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City, Missouri), the Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas, Texas), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Reading Public Museum (Reading, Pennsylvania), the Allentown Art Museum, Milwaukee art museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.), the Vero Beach Museum of Art (Vero Beach, Florida), and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota).

Bertoia's "Sunburst Sculpture" owned by the Joslyn Art Museum was originally installed in the Joslyn's Fountain Court. It is now located in the lobby of the Milton R. Abrahams Branch of the Omaha Public Library. Lord Palumbo owns several Bertoia works which are on display at Kentuck Knob. Bertoia's "Sounding Sculpture" can be found in the plaza of The Aon Center, Chicago's third tallest building. Another "Sounding Sculpture", considerably smaller than the one mentioned above, is featured in the Rose Terrace of the Chicago Botanic Garden, and a third very similar to the piece in Chicago called "Sounding Piece" was until 2003 on display at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. As explained in October 3, 1995 piece in the weekly "Dear Uncle Ezra" column of the university newspaper:

Dear Uncle Ezra,

What is that sound coming from the Johnson Museum? It's a pingy type sound that I guess could be some kind of wind chime but it seems like it's coming from the building itself.

- Just wondering

Dear Chiming In,

Well, it almost is coming from the building itself. What you hear is "Sounding Piece", a sculpture by Harry Bertoia that permanently resides on the sculpture court (outdoor balcony) on the second floor of the Johnson Museum. The chimes sway back and forth on tall rods and "ping" or "gong" into each other (depending on which chime and how hard they collide) when winds move them. It's one of my all-time favorites, well worth a visit if you haven't seen it. You can go out on to the sculpture court until at least the end of October. Once winter sets in, the chimes are secured so that they won't snap in the windy, icy weather.

Uncle Ezra

The sculpture was taken off view after it was damaged in a storm in 2003 . Audiovisual footage of many of Bertoia's sound sculptures can be viewed on websites such as YouTube .

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bertoia)
5/15/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



DVD



1. The Sound Sculpture of Harry Bertoia

CD 1. Harry, Oreste and Ave Bertoia, 1969-1972

Related Categories of Interest:


DVD
Electro-Acoustic
Installation Sound Work
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Important Records.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Other Recommended Releases:
Guionnet, Jean-Luc + Eric La Casa
Reflected Waves [60 pages 21x25 cm + DVD video 1h48mn]
(Passage d'encres)
Eric La Casa and Jean Luc Guionnet recorded this conceptual work in Melbourne, Australia, combining different scales of time, space, & attention, with different working strategies to create a gallery installation, and this book & DVD package exploring the acoustic phenomenon of "standing waves" to engage with the physical relationship between sound and space.
Blouin, Hugo / Claude Bourque / Paul Gregoire
L' Ossuaire [2 CDs]
(Tour de Bras)
Recordings of an installation piece built in Iles-de-la-Madeleine in the summer of 2013, a large sculpture made of resonant metal pipes with propane torches and whale bones, used as a huge musical instrument allowing three people to play simultaneously from different sides.
Contrate, Quentin
Sekametelisoppa
(Creative Sources)
Drummer Quentin Conrate works in contemporary music, musical theater and experimental art, concerned with space, sound and movement; here he is caught live at Festival Becoq in La Cooperative, Montolieu, France for an album of refracted and reverberant sound using a collection of objects described as "incomplete drums", and a wall.
Gorfinkel, Dale
Switches & Hose
(Splitrec)
Dale Gorfinkel is a multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, instrument creator and installation artist, creating unexpected aural environments exploring acoustic phenomena or creating acoustic sculptures using common materials like switches, balloons, hoses, cages, &c.
Machinefabriek
Stroomtoon II
(Herbal International)
After recording Stroomtoon in December 2011, electronic sound artist Rutger Zuydervelt wanted to capture more of the roughness and spontaneity of his live performances, so he recorded more material for this second installation.
Vigroux, Franck
Prisme
(D'Autres Cordes)
Prisme is the music for a sound installation by sound artist Franck Vigroux and a collaboration with Fabien Zocco in a live audiovisual performance.
Israelievitch / Reitzenstein / Stewart / Young
The Test Tubes
(Spool)
Part of a sound installation and exhibition of sculptural work by Reinhard Reitzenstein, the Test Tubes perform with strings, glass instruments, and unique instruments to create music of unusual and complex timbral combinations.
Moser, Michael
Resonant Cuts: (2 CDs AND BOOK)
(Edition Rz)
Book and 2 CDs documenting a 2010 concert and sound installation by Carsten Seiffarth and Michael Moser, with Polweschsel & guests (Burkhard Beins, Axel Dorner, &c) performing the concert.
Suzuki, Akio
NA-GI 1997
(Edition Rz)
Sound and installation pioneer Akio Suzuki in a work based on field recordings from the bay and caves of Takano, Tango-cho in the northern-most coast of Kyoto, Japan.



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Lencastre's, Joao Communion 3 (Lencastre / Sacks / Opsvik)
Movements In Freedom
(Clean Feed)
Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions.
Fraser, Nick (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton)
Is Life Long?
(Clean Feed)
Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv.
Rave, Ada Trio (w/ Nicola L. Hein / Wilbert De Joode)
The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon
(Clean Feed)
Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation.
Tree Ear (Strinning / Troller / Hemingway)
Witches Butter
(Clean Feed)
After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.
Leap of Faith Orchestra
Possible Universes
(Evil Clown)
Started in 1995 as an interdisciplinary unit of improvisational artists led by Boston area reedist/multi-instrumentalist David Peck and cellist Glynis Lomon, exploring multi-phonics, glissando, microtones, graphic & descriptive scores, and extended techniques, expanding the ensemble with like-minded musicians, here in this 2017 recording of full 24-piece orchestra.
Roots Magic
Last Kind Words
(Clean Feed)
Deep Blues and Creative Jazz from the Italian septet Roots Magic, following up their "Hoodoo Magic" CD with another compelling album of instrumentals where the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition.
Trespass Trio (Zanussi / Strid / Kuchen)
The Spirit of Pitesti
(Clean Feed)
Trespass trio with Martin Kuchen on saxophone, Per Zanussi on double bass, and Raymond Strid on drums & percussion, tell us instrumental narrative through compassionate, impassioned and unorthodox writing and playing, about Romania's Pitesti Prison, where for 4 years around 1950 totalarian authorities practiced brainwashing experiments on the inmates.
Mitchell, Matt plays Tim Berne
Forage
(Screwgun)
Pianist Matt Mitchell, a member of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil, releases a solo album of Berne compositions, taking the reedist's typically frenetic material into unexpected territory, revealing dark beauty and intensely introspective aspects to Berne's music.
Chicago / Sao Paulo Underground feat Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah and the Underground / Spiral Mercury
(Clean Feed)
Live from Lisbon's Jazz em Agosto Festival, cornetist Rob Mazurek merges his Chicago and Sao Paulo Underground bands, adding bassist Matthew Lux and jazz legend tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, for a potent blend of modern jazz, electronics, and free improvised music.



The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC