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date: 18 August 2019

Russolo, Luigilocked

  • Flora Dennis

Extract

(b Portogruaro, April 30, 1885; d Cerro di Laveno, Varese, Feb 6, 1947). Italian inventor, painter and composer. Although from a musical family, he joined the futurist movement in 1910 as a painter. Inspired by the violent reception of Pratella's Musica futurista, in 1913 he published the radical manifesto L'arte dei rumori. This advocated the creation of a music in which everyday sounds, including noise, are used in a non-imitative manner. With his assistant Ugo Piatti, he constructed intonarumori (noise intoners) between 1913 and 1921 with which he put his theories into practice. These instruments were mostly based on the principle of the Hurdy-gurdy; the instrument was housed in a brightly painted box and the performer turned a crank or pressed an electric button at the rear to operate it; pitch was controlled by a lever on the top. By the end of 1913, 15 such machines, bearing onomatopoeic names such as the ...

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