Painting Noise: La Musica

Luciano Chessa

in Luigi Russolo, Futurist

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780520270633
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951563 | DOI:
Painting Noise: La Musica

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This chapter focuses on Russolo's best-known work, the large oil painting La musica, where his interest in synesthesia and the occult is most evident. This painting is centrally important to the current investigation, as it sets out the poetics of music that Russolo was working out in the years immediately preceding his manifesto on the art of noises. The music in La musica is first a deafening rumorista chaos, and second a spiral of noises (spirale di rumori) that synthesizes this chaos into the sinuous blue band of the enharmonic (i.e., microtonal) continuity. It is thus already an art of noises, a subjective synthesis of all the complementary acoustic vibrations of the universe superimposed according to the futurist aesthetic of simultaneity and dynamism. Russolo's ambition here was not simply to imitate or represent nature but to create, that is provide, the spiritual conditions and the spiritual fuel for the creation of a new reality through Artifice.

Keywords: Luigi Russolo; oil painting; synesthesia; occult; poetics; music; art of noise

Chapter.  4446 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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