Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Read and Response: The Art of Noise

In March of 1913, Luigi Russolo, a futurist painter, sent a letter containing the first ideas of 'Noise Art' , and within it explained, and deconstructed the ideas of taking regular noise that seems so commonplace now, and turning them into an art form of a musical score and prose. In this letter, he explained how he had become bored with the traditional sense of music in that 20 or so people belting out the same note on an instrument is now the commonplace. The 'Art of Noise' is to say taking a sound from the surrounding world, i.e. the sound of thunder combined with a clack! of a wood being struck then mixing in the buzzing of a bee and turning it into a form of music. Russolo states that noise art is split up into 6 categories of noise: 

  1. Load noises like roars and claps 
  2. Noises that maintain a length of time like whistles
  3. Soft noises like whispers and murmurs
  4. Shrill sounds like buzzes and jingles
  5. Percussive noises lie wood or metal
  6. Animal and Human noises like moans or screams. 

Russolo is what one would call a 'Futurist', a scientist and artist that very much explored and predicted what the 'future' would hold in terms of music and art. On June 2, 1913, Russolo would execute this idea to the world, and showcased for the first time the 'noise instruments' he invented with Ugo Piatti, a fellow painter and collaborator, and put on a the first 'Noise Art' show before a crowd of over 2000 people. It received mixed reviews, debaters of course as do all forms f new and strange art forms did in those days, but he would then later create more 'instruments' and have another show unveiling 15 noise instruments. This new form of noise art has thrived to the modern world of today in a new form called 'Rhythmic Art' where musicians and DJ's would take sound bites such as bending a circuit wire or a beep from a microwave and use it to make a song out of it. Russolo was a man far ahead of his time and his simple crazy idea still has an impact on today simply because he became bored of the violin.

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