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The Art of Noises

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 25 August 2009

One hundred years after the founding manifesto of Futurism, Robert Worby examine the least-documented aspect of Italy's most audacious art movement: the Art of Noises.

The most influential futurist musician was Luigi Russolo who argued for a complete reappraisal of classical orchestras to include sounds of the modern world. He designed and built early mechanical synthesisers, or intonarumori, to recreate the sounds of factories, cars and whistles.

Robert travels to Milan, the birthplace of Futurism, to visit reconstructions of the intonarumori - a collection of instruments invented by Russolo - and re-imagine the sounds of the trams and the mighty railway station which inspired them. With all but a few shards of Russolo's music lost or destroyed, why do the Art of Noises continue to resonate for many musicians and artists today?

  • Robert Worby and Pietro Verardo

    Robert Worby and Pietro Verardo

    Robert Worby with Pietro Verardo, an instrument builder who has spent 30 years reconstructing Russolo's intonarumori.

  • Robert Worby and L'Aria Cedevole

    Robert Worby and L'Aria Cedevole

    Robert Worby and an excerpt of L'Aria Cedevole from "L'Ora Alata", a score written by leading futurist musicologist, Daniele Lombardi

  • Robert Worby with Luciano Chessa

    Robert Worby with Luciano Chessa

    Robert Worby with Russolo scholar Luciano Chessa return to Milan's Teatro del Verme,
    the site of the first public demonstration of the intonarumori in April 1914.

  • Robert Worby recording noise in Milan

    Robert Worby recording noise in Milan

    The Futurists would have loved noisy modern day Milan

  • The Art of Noise: Russolo's Intonarumori

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  • The Art of Noise: Russolo's Intonarumori

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