Thursday, October 16, 2008

Music of the Futurists

Futurism surfaced in all aspects of society in the 1900's. Marinetti and Russolo gave the first futurist concert in 1914. The concert was composed of four networks titled:
  1. Awakening of Capital.
  2. Meeting of Cars and Aeroplanes
  3. Dining on the terrace of the Casino
  4. Skirmish in the Oasis.

Luigi Russolo, a painter and composer, wrote literature dealing with the music of futurism. His manifesto, The Art of Noises written in 1913, disected the timbre of sound of the futurist orchestra into six different parts:

  1. Roar, Thunder, Explosion, Bang, Boom, Hissing Roar
  2. Whistling, Puffing, Hissing
  3. Whispers, Murmurs, Mumbles, Mutters, Gurgles
  4. Screeches, Creaks, Rustling, Humming, Crackling, Rubbing
  5. Noises that are made by beating on materials (metals, woods, skins, stones, pottery)
  6. Sounds that are made by people of animals (Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails, Hoots, Howls, Death rattles, Sobbing)
Russolo called these new instruments the intonarumori (see image above). The intonarumori were devices that made sounds like a machine does. The sounds are not able to be reproduced. This makes the sounds very unique which was something that the futurists enjoyed. The aesthetic that the futurists strived for in music was freedom, motion, and originality.


Sources: Britanica Encyclopedia, Wikipedia Images

1 comment:

April G. said...

This would've been very interesting to hear. The descriptions of sounds remind me of some of the early Pink Floyd albums, along with some other modern-day bands that focus on experimenting with different sounds.