Intonarumori: Orchestra of the Futurist noise intoners travels to ArtScience Museum of Singapore

Joan La Barbara performing with the Intonarumori, conducted by Luciano Chessa. Photo © Paula Court.

INTONARUMORI: Orchestra of the Futurist noise intoners
A Performa commission, directed by Luciano Chessa
Feb 12, 2015, ArtScience Museum of Singapore

“Today, noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men,” Russolo wrote in “The Art of Noises,” a Futurist manifesto of 1913. Luigi Russolo (1885–1947)—painter, composer, builder of musical instruments, and a member of the Italian futurist movement from its inception, represents a crucial moment in the evolution of twentieth-century musical aesthetics. His Intonarumori (“noise intoners”) were a set of wooden sound boxes each with cone-shaped metal speaker on its front, where sound was generated by turning a crank, while tone and pitch were controlled with a lever—the sound of the nascent machine age brought to life. The instruments were first presented on August 11, 1913, in a press concert at Milan’s Casa Rossa, headquarters of the Futurist Movement. Lost by the early 1940s, the first reproduction of Russolo’s earliest Intonarumori orchestra—a set of 16 noise intoners—was completed in 2009 by composer/musicologist Luciano Chessa.  Chessa, whose monograph “Luigi Russolo, Futurist: Noise, Visual Arts and the Occult” is the first to be dedicated to Russolo and his art of noises, toured with the Intonarumori through all the major European festivals, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New York City’s Town Hall, and Art Basel Miami Beach.

In collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and Performa, ArtScience Museum presents two full performances on February 12, 2015 at 7:30pm and 8:45pm by The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners. Each performance will be accompanied by a short talk by Chessa.


January 16, 2015 at Cleveland Museum of Art