Russolo and Synesthesia

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:
Russolo and Synesthesia

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An in-depth analysis of La musica is essential to understanding Russolo's research in the transition years immediately preceding his manifesto of March 11, 1913, “L'arte dei rumori: Manifesto futurista,” and to fully contextualize the art of noises that the manifesto inaugurated. Read in this context, the painting can be seen to set out a clear and well-conceived poetics of music, and to exhibit the profound spiritual notions that in the brief span of a year had brought Russolo to sound. The continuity of Russolo's theoretical journey cannot be sufficiently emphasized: his embarking upon full-time musical investigations should not be read as a sudden change in direction. In fact, the music that Russolo imagined and produced in 1913 was not radically different from the music he had painted in the preceding years. But how did his transition to sound take place? To formulate a convincing hypothesis on the nature of Russolo's activity circa 1912–13, it is useful to sketch his research profile, substantiating it with all the available evidence.

Keywords: Luigi Russolo; music; La musica; occult; research

Chapter.  4803 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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