In 1913 Luigi Russolo, composer and part of the Italian futirist movement, published his manifesto “The Art of Noise”. It became a significant theoretical landmark in modern music, inspiring generations of progressive composers, musicians and artist in general. It is still today interesting and strong conceptual work. Russolo theorized a new approach to music composing, embracing noise and other sounds alien to classic composers. Traditional composing theory and practice was outliving itself creatively and was full of limitations. Instruments, orchestras, chords and music theory in general only provided a limited creative spectrum, leaving less and less room for progression, surprise and innovation. Therefore Russolo meant that modern composers should embrace noise. Noise was born with the invention of the machine in the 19th century after thousand of years of silence and now was the time to conquer that noise and use it as a tool of creating musical progression, challenging the human ear and leaving the musical world of “clean” sounds. This new world of noise contained an potentially unlimited number of new sounds, music, rhythmical structures, vibration and tonality. Russolo developed a noise classification system, dividing the different types of noise into 6 families. He created so called noise machines that was able to reproduce some of the different types of noise and play his compositions mechanically. Russolo wasn’t a very talented composer and his musical work wasn’t particularly interesting or influential, but it theorized and anticipated huge steps in modern music.

One Response to Boom-ching-chaaak

  1. orangehairboy says:

    Actually, his musical work may or may not have been interesting–we only have one small snippet that still survives. His brother used his intonarumori to do more conventional orchestrated music along to normal instruments and instrumentation, and those are the recordings frequently attributed to him. Really his own stuff may have been wonderful and powerful, just too far ahead of their time to be appreciated.

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