The music and noise manifestos of the Italian Futurists formed a blueprint for sonic warfare waged against traditionalism, a radical new agenda played out with machines primed for maximal acoustic destruction and aimed at the negation of all existing value systems. THE ART OF NOISE collects together these and other writings for the first time in English, showing how the origins of modern noise music actually date from a century ago, forming an invaluable insight into Futurist thought and its most enduring and relevant legacies, and revealing how an understanding of noise-art is key to a complete comprehension of Futurist painting. THE ART OF NOISE includes five key Futurist manifestos: Luigi Russolo's "The Art of Noises" and "The Futurist Noise Machines", and Francesco Balilla Pratella's "Manifesto of Futurist Musicians", "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music", and "Destruction of Quadrature"; plus Carlo Carrą's related sensory manifesto "The Painting of Sounds, Noises and Smells"; Bruno Corra's notes on "Chromatic Music"; proto-Futurist Ferrucchio Busoni's visionary and influential "Sketch for a New Aesthetic of Sound Art"; a historical introduction on Futurist music and its legacy; and a chronology of Futurist music and noise.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: Futurism and Musical Notes|
|Manifesto of Futurist Musicians|
|Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music|
|The Destruction of Quadrature|
|The Art of Noises|
|The Futurist Noise Machines|
|Sketch for a New Aesthetic of Sound Art|
|The Painting of Sounds, Noises and Smells|
|Chronology of Futurist Music and Noise||p. 121|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
THE ART OF NOISESLUIGI RUSSOLO11 March 1913Dear Balilla Pratella, great Futurist composer,In Rome, in the Costanzi Theatre, packed to capacity, while I was listening to the orchestral performance of your overwhelming Futurist music, with my Futurist friends, Marinetti, Boccioni, Carrà, Balla, Soffici, Papini and Cavacchioli, a new art came into my mind which only you can create, the Art of Noises, the logical consequence of your marvelous innovations. Ancient life was all silence. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of the machine, Noise was born. Today, Noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men. For many centuries life went by in silence, or at most in muted tones. The strongest noises which interrupted this silence were not intense or prolonged or varied. If we overlook such exceptional movements as earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, avalanches and waterfalls, nature is silent. Amidst this dearth of noises, the first sounds that man drew from a pieced reed or streched string were regarded with amazement as new and marvelous things. Primitive races attributed sound to the gods; it was considered sacred and reserved for priests, who used it to enrich the mystery of their rites. And so was born the concept of sound as a thing in itself, distinct and independent of life, and the result was music, a fantastic world superimposed on the real one, an inviolatable and sacred world. It is easy to understand how such a concept of music resulted inevitable in the hindering of its progress by comparison with the other arts. The Greeks themselves, with their musical theories calculated mathematically by Pythagoras and according to which only a few consonant intervals could be used, limited the field of music considerably, rendering harmony, of which they were unaware, impossible. The Middle Ages, with the development and modification of the Greek tetrachordal system, with the Gregorian chant and popular songs, enriched the art of music, but continued to consider sound in its development in time, a restricted notion, but one which lasted many centuries, and which still can be found in the Flemish contrapuntalists' most complicated polyphonies. The chord did not exist, the development of the various parts was not subornated to the chord that these parts put together could produce; the conception of the parts was horizontal not vertical. .....