René Bertholo – Um Argentino No Deserto (Sirr, 2000)

René Bertholo
Um Argentino No Deserto

CD Sirr.ecords sirr 2002 (Portugal, 2000)

01. Nada : Luz
02. Um Passeio ao Domingo
03. Um Argentino No Deserto
04. África Aqui
05. Praia Verde
06. Amanhã
07. Os Sinos do Ribeiro do Álamo
08. Expresso do Sul
09. Os Grillos
10. Dança para um Dia de Chuva
11. A Passos Rápidos
12. Olha
13. Chop Suey
14. Já Foi
15. Lembro-Me
16.Uma Voz
17. Música da Cozinha
18. Fado da Mar

Composed between 1988 & 1999

Best known as a painter and sculptor, Bertholo attended The School of Decorative Art (1947-51) and the Superior School of Belas-Artes of Lisbon (1951-1957). Published the magazine « KWY », and co-founded the « ». He exhibited several times in Galerie Birch. His musical work, though including classical composition, largely focused on a digital modular sequencer/synthesizer of his own design. (Discogs)

Imagine an entire sound realm interpreted by someone shut away from the world of the jingle and the commercial and who had never heard electronic music before but wanted to design and build machines to produce a kind of new music. Rene Bertholo’s vision is that kind of sound world distilled in a microcosm. He started to build his own instruments close to 30 years ago, having never attempted it before. He recorded the results and those results are extraordinary. What’s immediately transparent is that alienation and primitive emotion is the oxygen of this sphere. Rhythms limp towards the horizon; you want to help them on their way but can’t. Fledgling percussion taps nearly but not quite in sync, as though almost weary from the effort. Blips bleep and chime joyously, but this is not a sound world inhabited by the Noton regulars: these are the noises of birds and other animals patched up to a generator resembling something from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Um Argentino no Deserto is the type of music that Russolo and the other Futurists dreamed of when they first hit upon their manifestos but never quite realised in earnest. It is a fragile and seemingly temporary music. And it is also timeless. This is the true sequenced language of machines and an incredible roadmap of years of artistic endeavour, with no recourse to recognisable signposts along the way. Truly innovative and the one recording in recent times to leave me virtually speechless. (Brian Lavelle, Vital Weekly)

Bertholo, a respected Portuguese visual artist, after decades of experimenting with moving parts both aural and visual, releases his first collection of sounds. Bertholo made metal sculptures with electrical movement all through the sixties, and around 1973 was inspired to build his own music-making machine, an electronic version of a music box he called a ‘makina’. Basically it was a simple synthesizer with a very limited range. Bertholo specifically wanted to avoid making sounds like other (conventional) instruments, and instead wound up with rough croaks and tweets derived from nature sounds — albeit nature as built from wire and cardboard. He then put his ‘makina’ in multi-speaker installations where the sounds could travel and/or interact. The music here is reminiscent of a neanderthal Optigan, mechanizations moving in oblique loops, collisions of phase, with snagged, rough textures that I can compare to no other artist. His work is like an extreme simplification of Raymond Scott or Oskar Sala’s electronic machine music, set upon by a gang of thugs with tire irons, barbed wire and fishhooks. I want to cradle these little scarred rhythms in my arms. (Robin Edgerton, Othermusic)

Artiste visuel, René Bertholo (1935-2005) travaille avec l’électronique depuis les années 60. Il a fabriqué des synthétiseurs baptisés ‘makina’. Le CD nous propose un ensemble de pièces composées entre 1988 et 1999, avec de la simplicité et de l’ironie. (Metamkine)

Une collection de pièces par le défunt artiste portugais René Bertholo sortie sur Sirr, label lui aussi portugais, lui aussi défunt (si j’en crois l’état de leur site), et lui aussi regretté. Une musique tout sauf crépusculaire ceci dit, bien au contraire.

Cet article, publié dans Avant, Electronic, est tagué , . Ajoutez ce permalien à vos favoris.

2 commentaires pour René Bertholo – Um Argentino No Deserto (Sirr, 2000)

  1. docteurorlof dit :
    (rappelez-moi de ne plus jamais employer la formule ‘bien au contraire’)

    More from Sirr previously posted here :
    Én op.10218 v1.2

  2. anonyMOUSE dit :

    merci bien, et… rappelez-vous de ne plus jamais employer la formule ‘bien au contraire’! 😀

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