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BERTOIA, HARRY: Sonambiente (11 CD box with 114pp book).
One of the earliest and most important of the pioneer sound sculptors, and unique amongst them, Bertoia is best remembered in the wider world for his classic metal chair designs and pubic sculptures, but in 1960 he started to work extensively with sound, building a huge orchestra of Sonambiente, forests of slender, close-packed, metal rods - from a few inches to twenty feet in length - cast in a variety of metals, though predominantly beryllium copper, for its deep tone and colour. And gongs. Most new instruments of sound-producers work from existing principles, but Bertoia invented a new one. In time, he installed over a hundred varieties in a vast barn and, over the next eighteen years, made these recordings – and did the occasional concert for locals and friends. They’re like living things. An essential document for anyone interested in sound art - as well as being a mysterious and exquisite collection of glorious sounds. L