Boomkat Product Review:
Oh wow!!! This is a first ever vinyl reissue of Mario Bertoncini’s deeply haunting Aeolian harp recordings from 1973; rending a jaw-dropping demonstration of the classical, wind-powered string instrument’s mythologised capacity for producing ethereal harmonics.
The incredible Arpe Eolie stands as Bertoncini’s only solo release, although he would also record extensively as a member of Italy’s pioneering Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza and also composed a handful of avant garde classics such as The Feed-back and his Cifre For 3 Prepared Pianos dating back to the early ‘60s.
This, his most substantial work, is also his most rewarding in terms of a timeless harmonic abstraction - which sounds as though it could have been realised any time between its depictions by 17th century Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher, and the modern day, with a sound as redolent of Harry Bertoia’s metal rod sculptures as the spookiest horror film foley and strings of Bernard Hermann and Daphne Oram, and perhaps most acutely with Die Schactel’s previous release; Teresa Rampazzi’s soundtrack to an exhibition of metallic gong sculptures
However, perhaps the strongest analogy for this acoustic phenomena is the human voice, with a vibrant, plangent harmonic resonance that recalls choirs of tortured, weeping angels or some kind of harrowing choral chamber music from the romantic era.
Ultimately it’s one of those LPs that just resets our mental map and chronology of these sounds, by predating and pretty much excelling swathes of contemporary dark ambient sound design with a natural sense of incorporeal detachment and spectral form that’s just left us in a shivering mess.