The Art of Noises by Luigi Russolo
Barclay Brown, Translator
The slim volume of essays presented here for the first time in English translation is one of the significant documents of musical aesthetics of this century. If the book itself has remained the province of a mere handful of readers its ideas passed on through a variety of later musical and literary movements became the inspiration for some of the most innovative artistic creations of modern times. Luigi Russolo anticipated-indeed he may have precipitated-a whole range of musical and aesthetic notions that formed the basis of much of the avant-garde thought of the past several decades. His ideas were absorbed modified and eventually transmitted to later generations by a number of movements and individuals-among them the futurists the Dadaists and a number of composers and writers of the nineteen-twenties. The noise instruments he invented fascinated and infuriated his contemporaries and he was among the earliest musicians to put the often-discussed microtone to regular practical use in Western music. Russolo’s views looked forward to the time when composers would exercise an absolute choice and control of the sounds that their music employed. He was the precursor of electronic music before electronics had come of age.
Barclay Brown, Translator: