Chapter

Intonarumori Unveiled

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520270633.003.0008
Intonarumori Unveiled

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Russolo understood the intonarumori to be a means with multiple functions; these instruments can be illustrated by the three-level outline. At the first level, the intonarumori is a means to produce noise, making it available as primal matter to be transformed; but it can also enable the channeling of the spiritual energy gathered by the artist-creator, infusing its energy into the noise matter and transforming it by elevating it into something spiritual: into art that has the gift of being alive. At a second level, an entire orchestra of intonarumori, conducted by the inspired artist taking spiritual dictation, holds the cosmogonic ambition of re-creating the world (by substitution, not imitation) through the spiritualization and synthesis of the manifold and complementary into essential unity. At a third level, the intonarumori is a “portal to the beyond”: during the process of creation, as the artist-creator is delivered to a more elevated plane of consciousness, he can communicate with the spirits of the dead that he has conjured up, spirits which fluctuate in that same plane awaiting for reincarnation. Throughout this three-level process, the spirits produce thought-forms—and, above all, sound-forms—through the mediation of the artist-initiate. These forms in their turn emit vibrations that influence the aura of every individual present in their field of action; under certain circumstances, these forms can also materialize into bodies.

Keywords: Luigi Russolo; intonarumori; noise; thought-forms; sound-forms; artist-initiate

Chapter.  5518 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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