Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Walter Smetak-Smetak,LP,1974,Switzerland/Brasil

Walter Smetak was born in 1913 in Switzerland and died in 1984 in Brasil.He was a cellist,composer, inventor, playing and conducting music by instruments he invented(some of them depicted on the fotos above).This is a strange unusual experimental LP released in Brasil in 1974. Smetak was deeply involved in the Brasilian music scene collaborating with Gilberto Gil,Tom Ze,Uakti and others.He is considered to be the guru of "tropicalia",although in this recording no "tropicalia" influences are found.Wish i could find more infos in English for Walter Smetak,but unfortunatelly all found were in Portugeuse(any help?).
get this masterpiece of experimental music here and here


Andy said...

Hey Mutants,

I translated his wikipedia entry:

Anton Walter Smetak
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Anton Walter Smetak (Zurich, February 12, 1913-Salvador, Bahia, May 30, 1984) was a Swiss musician who lived in Brazil from 1937. Violoncelista, composer, writer, sculptor and maker of musical instruments, Smetak taught at the School of Music from the Federal University of Bahia and influenced a whole generation of Brazilian musicians, including Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and Marco Antonio Guimarães.


Son of a Czech couple who lived the city of Zurich, Smetak early had contact with the music.
His father, exímio player of cítara, was his first teacher. Although wanted playing the piano, an accident that took the coordination of his right hand has caused study cello. Formed at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and became concertista in 1934 at the Vienna Conservatory, with Pablo Casals.

In 1937 he was forced to move to Brazil, hired by a Symphony Orchestra of Porto Alegre. He discovered only after his arrival that the orchestra no longer existed more.
Moves to live in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, playing at festivals, casinos, the radio orchestras. Tracks singers in recordings and arrives in touch with Carmen Miranda.

In 1957 switches itself to Salvador, Bahia, called by Hans Joachim Koellreuter, where he becomes researcher and professor at the Federal University of Bahia. He knows the teosofia and will conduct searches noise. Constructs a workshop where creating musical instruments with PVC pipes, cabaças, isopor and other unusual materials. Some of the instruments have no utility purely musical. Sculptures are influenced by its mystical way to face the music and shapes. Throughout their stay in UFBa, the musician has built up to 150 of these instruments, which they called "plastic noise." Also served as violoncelista the Symphony Orchestra of the Federal University of Bahia and lecionava sound and acoustics.

I participated in 1967's Biennale of Visual Arts, Salvador. He wrote more than 30 books, three plays.

From 1969, his office has begun to be frequented by Gilberto Gil, Rogério Duarte and Tuzé de Abreu. Beyond them, were also his students Gereba, Djalma Correia and Marco Antonio Guimarães. To run its instruments, created with the students of the University the "Grupo de Mendigos" that made presentations in Bahia and Sao Paulo.

In 1972, Caetano Veloso quoted Smetak the song "Épico": "Smetak, Smetak & Musak & Smetak & Musak & Smetak & Musak & Reason."

He died on May 30, 1984 in Salvador. His "plastic noise" are in display at the Library Rector Costa Macedo, in the Campus of Ondina, Salvador.


Smetak was very influenced by the mystical Esoterics. In his workshop, played with her students formed their own compositions and improvisations microtonais. His students, affectionately called the "Tak Tak" in reference to its musicality.

The artists of Tropicalismo has always considered one of his strongest influences. Marco Antonio Guimarães, one of his students, also violoncelista, was one of his most loyal followers. In Belo Horizonte created a workshop instrumental in the mold of Smetak and founded the group Uakti.

In the last ten years of his life left to write partituras of his compositions, preferring to improvisation in groups with their instruments. He left a number of recordings of those sections of improvisation.

Gravou two LPs: "Smetak (1975), with production of Caetano Veloso and Roberto Santana and" Interregno "(1980), with all Microtons

2nd LP is here:

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this Walter Smetak album, looking forward to hearing it.
Can I ask a favour, that is, to please not upload files to rapidshare in two parts unless they actually need to be split? Both these could have been fit into one folder, but with free rapidshare I have to wait a couple of hours before I can come back and get the second part - and because I can not get broadband where I live, but have to travel to public computers, this makes things very frustrating trying to keep up with your posts - it's a losing battle!

nleonard said...

I am finishing an article on Smetak for Musicworks. It will be out in Jan or Feb. 2015. Neil Leonard