Harry Bertoia's Sonambient

Started by hdibrell, March 19, 2016, 03:36:47 PM

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I have been looking for recordings of Harry Bertoia's works for some time without any luck. There are some available on vinyl, but that was not what I was looking for. I recently discovered this box set on importantrecords.com. I ordered it even though it was out of my usual price range and received it this week. It is an 11 cd box set with a nice booklet included. His recordings made with his handmade metal instruments in his barn in rural Pennsylvania are incredible. I've spent a lot of time listening this week and am amazed at the sounds he produces. I thought I would get bored with this many recordings of seemingly the same thing. Each piece taken from his original tapes is a journey worth taking IMO. I can only imagine what this would sound like live in his barn. The set is kind of expensive at just under $100, but I'm not regretting the purchase. There is also a digital download available in wav or mp3 for about $50 with a pdf of the booklet. I hope to be able to make the journey to his place in Pennsylvania sometime to see and hear his creations in person. If you are not familiar with his work I would recommend going to the Important Records site where they have a mix available or search youtube for examples.
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.


Harry Bertoia made some incredible stuff. The fact that he was doing this seemingly way before anyone else is even more mindblowing.

For years the only option was to buy a pricey Japanese CD of just two of the LPs or pay something like $500 for all the recordings on CD with a big art book. I have the Japanese CD but never got the big art book set because it was just way too far outside my price range.

$100 for 11 CDs is not too bad in the grand scheme of things. I will get this boxset when I can.

Re: the LPs, I still buy vinyl but I would be careful with those. You'll pay through the nose for the LPs and word is many of them were pulled from storage after many years and are likely warped. The $100 CD box is a much better and safer bet.


Yes, the Bertoia box is a great set.  Sonics are terrific.  More releases are apparently in store from the Bertoia tape archives.  I'm waiting on an LP of previously unreleased pieces that was part of the Bertoia archive Kickstarter campaign that should be available in the next few months.  The LP set is great, too (especially the covers), but the pressings are a bit iffy, as I think they date back to the late 70s.