You know Harry Bertoia as a designer and sculptor, but did you know he was also a sound artist? His tall wire sculptures were designed not only as beautiful works of art but also as vehicles to transport you to a place of “Sonambient,” his term for the spatial and tonal environment created by his sound sculptures.
Bertoia was inspired to create these tonal pieces after accidentally bumping one heavy wire into another, which created a wonderful sound. If two wires sounded fabulous, he knew that he had to hear what six or even six-dozen wires would sound like. Thus, his quest began. Over his career, Bertoia made thousands of these sculptures, which ranged in height from six inches to 20 feet. He never made the same piece twice.
Bertoia recorded eleven LP albums of “Sonambient,” as well as 350+ reel-to-reel tapes that have never been heard. This is where you can help. The Harry Bertoia Foundation and Important Records have launched a Kickstarter project to help raise the funds needed to archive these important works, and transfer them to electronic format.
“The haunting yet soothing music is most timely now in this time of turmoil,” says Bertoia’s daughter Celia.