By Jennifer Piejko
Conductor and composer Luciano Chessa brought history to life for Performa in 2009 by celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italian Futurism with his Music for 16 Futurist Noise Intoners. First designed in 1913 by avant-garde painter and musician Luigi Russolo, the 16 crates with cranks and levers were the very first analog synthesizers, and the beginning of modern music. The concert featured Einstuerzende Neubauten member and Nick Cave collaborator Blixa Bargeld, avant-garde saxophonist John Butcher, Deep Listening pioneer Pauline Oliveros, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton, sound and text-based performer Anat Pick, avant-garde musician Elliott Sharp, and composer and vocalist Jennifer Walshe collaborating with composer and film/video artist Tony Conrad. Since the orchestra’s initial performance for Performa 09, the intonarumori (noise intoners) have continued to tour the world.
The composer and UC Press have just released Luigi Russolo, Futurist, giving us the first full history of the pioneering Futurist and musician available in English. Charting the very beginnings of Futurism, analog music, and the connections between music aesthetics and scientific theories, the book reconciles Russolo’s artistic temperament, spiritual awakenings, and philosophical entanglements.
Luciano was kind enough to share a preview of this exciting new release; Performa Magazine readers can preview Chapter 4 of the book, “Painting Noise: La musica.”
Adapted from Luigi Russolo, Futurist, by Luciano Chessa, published by University of California Press. © 2012 by the Regents of the University of California.