Help needed in archiving the music of Cranbrook alum & noted sculptor Harry Bertoia

Here's a Kickstarter that might be worth your time: Fancypants record label Important is seeking funds to help archive the complete sound recordings made by Cass Technical and Cranbrook alum Harry Bertoia (1915-78). You might know Bertoia's work because of his mid-century modern "diamond chair." If you're a record nerd, you might already own some of his experimental records.

There's an exhaustive interview from 1972 with the designer and metal worker and furniture maker and sound artist here. It spends a lot of time on his early Detroit years.

In honor of the centennial anniversary of his birth, there are a number of events going on, from a box set of is music to a show of his early jewelry work at Cranbrook, which just opened, actually.

The "sonambient" works are recordings made from his sound-emitting sculptures.

They're really cool-looking objects in and of themselves, the records, and the music can veer from largely silent to clanging and loud. I own three of them, myself, and am not sure I personally need all of them, but they sure are nifty. The records' value has ebbed and flowed over the years, partly because sealed copies keep being magically found, but whatever. A complete sealed set of the original records is up on eBay right now, in fact.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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