Luigi Russolo  

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Luigi Russolo (April 30, 1885 - February 4, 1947) was an Italian Futurist painter and composer. As the author of the manifestoes The Art of Noises (1913) and Musica Futurista he was one of the first to write about, compose and perform noise music.


Russolo was born at Portogruaro, in the Veneto region, the son of an organist in the local cathedral and director of the Schola Cantorum of Latisana. His brothers were also musicians.

Russolo moved to Milan in 1901, frequenting the Brera Academy, and took part to the restoration of Leonardo's Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie. In his first works Russolo applied the divisionist techniques to a fantastic-symbolic view of subject related to the city or the industrial society.

An adherent of the Futurism movement, he worked closely with futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

On March 11 1913 he published the treatise The Art of Noises (L'arte dei rumori). He is considered the first theorist of electronic music. Russolo invented and built instruments including intonarumori ("intoners" or "noise machines"), to create "noises" for performance. Unfortunately, none of his original intonarumori survived World War II. Luigi's brother Antonio Russolo also composed futurist music.

In 1941-1942 Russolo started again to paint, with a new style that he defined "classic modernist".

He died at Cerro di Laveno (province of Varese) in 1947.

To honor the memory of the futurist composer, The Russolo-Pratella Foundation of Varese, Italy holds an annual international composition competition for electro-acoustic music. The Luigi Rusollo Prize in Electro-Acoustic Music is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of electro-acoustic music.

Related articles

Electronic art music - Filippo Tommaso Marinetti - Modernism - Techno - Atonality - Noise music - Industrial music - Concerto per Theremin. Live in Italy - Art of Noise - Ferruccio Busoni - Lettrism - Futurism (art) - Music of Italy - List of noise musicians - Electroacoustic music - Timeline of trends in music (1910-1919) - Sound design - Modernism (music) - Antonio Russolo - Carlo CarrĂ  - Sound art - Zang Tumb Tumb - Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art - Franco Casavola - Luciano Chessa

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