Tributo a Harry Bertoia

a cura di Sergio Armaroli, Steve Piccolo

Con Mark Kalinka

sound sculptures by steve piccolo



series: find the spot 1-4


tried: bass and/or guitar strings

HB reminds me of the hairy head rattle

at the top of an instrument

before you cut off the excess length of the strings


failed: boring rattle sounds

just because guitar strings make

musical sounds when stretched

doesn’t mean they will sound

any better than plain old metal wire

when not stretched


tried: insert noise making things in wooden boxes

maybe with a pickup, maybe not

or an amplifying bowl or chamber

make the boxes large enough to insert

one human hand

the listener has to feel around inside the box


the box contains an intensely tactile something




creepy rubbery stuff







under the tactile something

there is a button

that cannot be seen

because it is hidden by the stuff


you have to press or hold down the button

to make the sound come out


or the button activates a motor that causes vibration


good instant cheap solution:

recordable sound pads

purchased from England

designed to fit on top of beverage cans

with the purported task

of helping unsighted people

to know what’s in the can

before they drink it


results: acceptable

people really did interact

and seemed to enjoy it


virtues: 1) not constant

sound but only on demand

2) combination of live

and recorded sound

3) used nicely crafted wooden boxes

but obviously not new at all



difficulty rating:

finding the spot under

lots of balls and pellets of different sizes

was the hardest (version 1)


finding it in the midst of

strands of colored plastic

from a fake Hawaiian skirt costume

was reasonable difficult (version 2)


finding the spot

under a lush liner

of fake fur

was quite easy (version 3)


finding it under

a plastic bag

filled with water

designed to be used

as an ice bucket

for a bottle of wine

but now containing a flower

with a stiff stem

was a riddle… (version 4)


(solution: use the stem)


future developments:

1 improve quality of sound source

2 eliminate electricity and improve

sounds of contained materials

no button

3 add resonating chamber

4 use electricity with button

but reproduce

sine wave sweep to trigger

vibration of materials inside boxes






Steve Piccolo, Untitled (2019)

Sergio Armaroli, BambooCluster (2019), bamboo site-specific, dettaglio

Marc Kalinka, Struttura #4 -Amabili resti, 2017