Boundaries between musical genres and artistic disciplines are not real.
In a performance, pop, streetnoise and entertainment are as rich as classical music or
the reading of poetry.
Projects commissioned or projects Prof. Russolo creates in his studio. He is looking
for challenging ideas all the time, artistically and communicatively.
In his manifest L’arte dei rumori / The art of noises
(1913), the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo described
the historic evolution of sound: in the beginning there was silence, in the end music
as an artistic medium. From this he concluded that each and every sound can be a
meaningful and expressive sign. Russolo advocates the music of the future in which
differences between artistic, natural and industrial sounds are no longer perceived.
Russolo was both a visual artist and a musician - as a futurist he found himself in
the inspiring territory where artistic discplines meet, especially performing with his
self-built noise intoners.
The decision to choose the name Prof. Russolo & His Noise Intoners
is inspired by the need to move freely in a world challenging us to create, to think
and to play.
Prof. Russolo & His Noise Intoners functions as a workshop around
Prof. Russolo, within a network of visual artists, poets, sonologists and dramatic
artists participating in the various projects.
Portogruaro 30 april 1885 -
Cerro di Lavena 4 february 1947
Italian painter and composer,
one of the founding members of Italian futurism.
Luigi Russolo came from a musically talented family: his father was the local
clockmaker and church organist, two elder brothers became professional musicians.
Luigi himself played piano and violin, but at 16 he decided to become a painter.
Painter of Sounds
His transformation of a quality painter into the famous musical frontrunner, was
triggered by the performance of Pratella’s Musica Futurista in 1913.
Listening to this orchestral piece, Russolo thought of a new and more radical concept
of music / noise. This he stated in his manifest
L’arte dei rumori (The art of noises).
Here he tries to interpret the role and evolution of music, sound and noise through
the ages; he argues in favor of a total acceptance and emancipation of the noises of
the new, ‘modern’ age.
His concept of ‘the art of noise’ brought him to construe his own
instruments to realise his intentions: intonarumori (noise
intoners) , boxes with mechanical and often electrical parts, with large speakers
to realise his ideas.
Luigi Russolo was not a trained composer and therefore could develop surprising music
dominated by the autonomous sound of his selfbuilt instruments. This open-minded
attitude towards sound, was later followed by other composers and performers (John
Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Joe Jones e.g.).
Luigi Russolo was the first to write his noise-music down in graphic scores.
Compositions bear titles like Convegno delle automobile e degli aeroplani (Meeting
of automobiles and aircrafts) and Si pranza sulla terrazza dell’hotel
(Breakfast is served on the hotel terrace).
In 1922 Luigi Russolo built the Rumorarmonio or Russolophone, a kind of organ that
produced seven types of noise at twelve different pitches. Plans to mass-produce his
instruments did not work out. At the end of his life Russolo again focused on
philosophy and his painting.
Russolo’s Soundmachines: Noise Intoners
In Russolo’s and the Futurists’ philosophy, the combination of
music/noise and machines was logical. In this new age, characterised by technology
and industrialisation, they discovered endless possibilities for musical man to
explore and to create a new experience of music/noise.
Russolo built, together with his assistant Piatti, his so called intonarumori
(Noise Intoners), instruments/machines to realise his concepts about the music of the
future. Squeak, shreak, crunch, rattle, hiss are words to indicate the elements of
this new music. It goes without saying that the public reacted loudly and divided to
the concerts that Russolo gave with his instruments.
Sound is everywhere
The association of music and machines are of course not an exclusive feature of modern
times. Traditional musical instruments can, in retrospect, be seen as noise
intoners too. And to go one step further: aren’t we humans and the
animals and the rest of nature not all noise-producing machines? This makes the
concept of Russolo’s Noise Intoners archetypical, a story of all times.
Playing with Sound
Within this performance-art concept Prof. Russolo & His Noise Intoners
tries to translate this archetypical aspect to the present. He works together with
technicians to develop and build his own noise intoners. Electronics, mechanics and
computers are put to work to create a universe of sounds that he feels at home in, on
stage as well as in the studio.
His attitude towards music, sounds and noises is very open, so he may surprise
himselve and his listeners with unexpected sound inventions.