Music the Dead Can Hear: Sound, Symbol, and the Occult in Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noises is a presentation by Luciano Chessa at Observatory in Brooklyn, New York, on November 8th, 2013.
“Music the Dead Can Hear: Sound, Symbol, and the Occult in Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noises
Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), Self Portrait with Skulls, 1908, oil on canvas, 67 x 50 cm, Civico Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan.
A presentation by Professor Luciano Chessa
Date: Friday, November 8th
Presented by Phantasmaphile and ItalianFuturism.org
As the author of the first systematic aesthetics of Noise and the alleged creator of the first mechanical sound synthesizer, Luigi Russolo (1885–1947), Italian Futurist painter, composer, and builder of musical instruments is a crucial figure in the evolution of 20th century music and has influenced artists such as John Cage and David Byrne. In this evening’s lecture, Luciano Chessa will unveil the occult plan of Luigi Russolo’s seminal Art of Noises (L’arte dei Rumori, 1913) which became one of the most important and influential texts in 20th century musical aesthetics. Russolo’s ideas and their practical manifestation — the intonarumori — were for him and his associates elements of a multi-leveled experiment to reach higher states of spiritual consciousness. Russolo’s theories reflected his interest in synesthesia, metaphysics, and alchemy and he readily identified Thought-Forms (1901), an influential Theosophical text by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, as a guiding source for his innovations. We will explore Russolo’s belief that an artist-initiate can invoke spirits fluctuating in the astral plane, communicate with the dead, and harness their energy for the spiritualizing process.” [via]