Sunday, June 21, 2015

Harry Bertoia - Continuum / Near and Far (1980) + Swinging Bars / Vulcans Play (1980)

The otherworldly, shimmering sounds one hears on Harry Bertoia records are made using what Bertoia calls Sonambient sculptures, one of which I actually had the opportunity to mess around with a little bit at his grandson's house. They consist of collections of wires -- some thick, some thin -- standing upright on a flat base, and are played somewhat like one might a harp, only more haphazardly, letting them ring and vibrate off of each other in a clanging, half-calming, half-disconcerting cacophony.

The song titles are all in the album names, so no need for a track listing.

Ocean mysteries


  1. That must have been one hell of an experience, playing around with one of his sculptures - I have only seen pictures of them and they look like technology from the universe next door. I lost the rips I had of a few of his albums, I think I got them from the sadly defunct Holy Warbles, so it was great to see this posted here.

    Surprisingly, the link to Unfolding / Sounds Beyond that was posted on No Longer Forgotten blog is still working, so for anyone who stumbles across this post and wants to hear more:

    Unfolding / Sounds Beyond:

    You don't happen to have a rip of Harry Bertoia‎'s Space Voyage / Echoes Of Other Times album by any chance? The link from No Longer Forgotten is dead and I can't seem to find a rip anywhere else - which is a real shame as it is so good.

    Thanks anyway for the Bertoia, once I have some spare cash, I am going to order his six archival CDs on his website, they are about $20 each I think, but in the meantime, it is great just being able to hear his music.

    1. Here ya go:

  2. Just remembered, it wasn't Holy Warbles, it was Ubuweb where I got a collection of his rips from, including the Space Voyage/Echoes of Other Times album I was looking for:

    Ah, the joys of progressive memory loss!