Third Man Records, in partnership with John Brien and Celia Bertoia, has announced Harry Bertoia’s complete Sonambient LP collection, which will see a physical-only release on December 10, 2021. Bertoia was one of the most prolific sculptors of the postwar period, and the music on the 11 LPs in the collection was created by his metal sculptures which, when activated, created shimmering ambient drones and lush harmonic overtones. Pre-order the Sonambient collection HERE. The public will soon be able to see Bertoia's work in person in the Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life exhibit at Dallas' Nasher Sculpture Center, running from January 29, 2022 - April 23, 2022.
Beginning in the 1950’s, renowned sculptor Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) created the term "Sonambient" to describe the sound and environment created by his beautiful metal sculptures. He curated a massive selection of his sculptures and gongs, resulting in a harmonious orchestra of his metal works, and recorded these sound experiments late into the night. Bertoia dedicated the last twenty years of his life to his sound work and in 1970 he released the first Sonambient LP. In 1978, in the final months of his life, he selected tapes from his archive and produced 10 more records. He wouldn't live long enough to see them through production, but they became legendary releases (and quite valuable) in the art/audio world.
The complete Sonambient LP collection features all 11 of Bertoia’s original records newly restored from their master tapes and housed in replica jackets. A deluxe box, printed with metallic inks and tip-on style print assembly, holds the 11 discs as well as a 80 page book containing a lengthy historic essay, Smithsonian interview with Harry Bertoia, exclusive Sonambient era material from the Bertoia archive, modern and archival photos of the Bertoia barn as well as reflections on Bertoia from various contributors.
This project was made possible with the partnership and generosity of John Brien (Sonambient archivist and curator and Bertoia's sonic historian) and Celia Bertoia (Harry's daughter, and director & founder of the Harry Bertoia Foundation).