Uncertainty Theory #21

The sound sculptures of Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia's sound sculptures (includes a reading of the principle of polarity from The Kybalion).


Phosphorescence - Sonambient (1970-1978) - Harry Bertoia.
Freitags-Gruss - 1st part of 27 from Light Opera (1991-1994) - Karlheinz Stockhausen.


It is an intermediate art form in which a sculpture or any object produces sound (it can be music, sound effects, nature sounds, etc.), or vice versa (when sound is manipulated in a way that creates a sculpture, or gives form, temporary or permanent, to a body). Often, artists who produce sound sculptures come from the visual arts or musical composition.


In 1960 until his death in 1978, the Italian Harry Bertoia Once settled in the U.S., he dedicated himself to the exploration of tonal sound sculptures and their exuberant harmonics through metal and copper, where his curiosity was awakened with respect to the form and how, when the materials were combined, they generated mysterious sounds. He continued to explore and finally arrived at his famous pieces, "constructed in such a way that they can move in the air, or can be played as if they were an instrument.".

Without being a musician or a sound designer, he is somewhere between a luthier and a sculptor, exploring sound according to different materials and reactions between them, which open the way to a fascinating work called Sonambient (recorded from 1970 to 1978). With over 100 pieces developed since its original conception in his barn in Pennsylvania, Sonambient represents the sculptural legacy of Bertoia.