Let’s Making Noise For One More 100 Years!

Luigi Russolo, Intonarumori, noise music, noise machine

I first got into noise music as a college student wandering the streets of New York City. The constant crush of sheer sound was both exhilarating and strangely calming, like the way white-noise is used to sooth infants and insomniacs. I remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to propel noise back out into the world. I couldn’t walk down the street without the screech of brakes piercing my eardrums, and I thought: this is war!

Nowadays I feel more attracted towards the idea of sound enveloping and coddling my poor rattled brain in a blanket of ambient comfort. I dream of throbbing pink-noise ecstactic transcendence. Warm waves of aural bliss.

Createdigitalmusic brought to my attention that today is the 100th anniversary of Luigi Russolo’s “Art of Noises” manifesto. A great reminder to finish reading 2 documents I have waiting in my Kindle app! One of which is the very manifesto I just mentioned, and the second being a very interesting book on Russolo and his dealings with the occult, Luigi Russolo: Futurist.

If you don’t know about Russolo:

Luigi Russolo was perhaps the first noise artist. His 1913 manifesto, L’Arte dei Rumori, translated as The Art of Noises, stated that the industrial revolution had given modern men a greater capacity to appreciate more complex sounds. Russolo found traditional melodic music confining and envisioned noise music as its future replacement.

He designed and constructed a number of noise-generating devices called Intonarumori and assembled a noise orchestra to perform with them. A performance of his Gran Concerto Futuristico (1917) was met with strong disapproval and violence from the audience, as Russolo himself had predicted.

(from wikipedia)

Coincidentally, (though I am cognisant of so much syncronicity on a daily basis that I’m not sure I believe in coincidence), my wife and I were taking an afternoon stroll and somehow got onto the topic of how Noise is the only thing still capable of effecting a world numbed to music. I’m not even sure that’s true. As this very blog post attests, noise is nothing new. Big-name noise artists like Merzbow, Prurient or Kevin Drumm have all taken the idea to the Nth degree. Sure, Russolo’s concert caused a riot a century ago, but what would the reaction be today?

What do you think? Listen to some of Russolo’s work at Ubuweb and decide…

Mouse On Mars Wretchup, Wretch Dubbed, WOW

Mouse on Mars is on fire with three bits of exciting news.

First of all, congrats to them on achieving the crowd-funding goal on their iPhone app Wretchup. Created in collaboration with createdigitalmusic.com‘s Peter Kirn, Wretchup lets you instantaneously warp live audio input with the flick of your finger. Watch this video to get a better idea of what Wretchup can do:

While MoM has already used this custom app extensively in their work, both in the studio and onstage, Wretchup “relies on a now-defunct player app called RjDj, and lacks some features that make it something anyone can use.” The purpose of the campaign is “to build a standalone app with a richer set of functionality, and make it easy-to-use for novice and advanced users alike.”

In addition, since “Wretchup is built with libpd, a powerful open source library based on Pure Data,” they plan on making the source code available for programmers to learn from and incorporate into their own creations.

Although they’ve reached $5,000, if they manage to double that figure, they have promised to make an Android version as well. There are still 9 days left to support the project at http://www.indiegogo.com/appwow

Second news bite is that if you decide to contribute,  Mouse on Mars has made a special “Wretchup-remixed’ album exclusively for backers called “Wretch Dubbed.” Here is a taste:

Physical handmade copies are already sold out, but downloads are available for $15, which includes the app.

Lastly, Mouse on Mars very recently released a new LP entitled WOW, which has Wretchup all over it. Stream here: