Presentation of “Music the Dead Can Hear:” Theosophical Presences in Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noises

Wednesday, 11 February 2015, 11am-12pm

CNM Playroom, #AS6, 03-38

Luciano Chessa will be presenting his piece entitled ““Music the Dead Can Hear:” Theosophical Presences in Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noises” on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at CNM Playroom. Chessa draws attention to the recent increae in interest in the work of the Italian Futurist painter, composer, and builder of musical instruments, Luigi Russolo (1885-1947).  According to him, as the author of the first systematic aesthetics of noise and the alleged creator of the first mechanical sound synthesizer (he first built it in 1913 and called it intonarumori), Russolo is coming to be regarded as a crucial figure in the evolution of twentieth-century music. Luciano Chessa, in “Music the Dead Can Hear”, demonstrates that Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater’s theory of “Thought Forms” was the foundation upon which Russolo erected his Art of Noises. He also shows that both Russolo’s noise aesthetics and its practical manifestation—the intonarumori—were for him and his Futurist associates elements of a multi-leveled experiment to reach higher states of spiritual consciousness. He carries this new critical reading further by uncovering and systematically describing the occult plan of the Art of Noises. This view is supported by a variety of documents that have largely fallen under the radar of Futurism scholars. Chief among these is the coeval occult interpretation of the Art of Noises as presented by the Futurist writer Paolo Buzzi in a poem, in a wartime account and, rather disturbingly, in an obscure novel featuring none other than Luigi Russolo as the metempsychotic, biomechanical protagonist.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALuciano Chessa is the author of Luigi Russolo, Futurist:Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult, which is the first monograph ever to be dedicated to the Futurist Russolo and his Art of Nois. Chessa’s Futurist expertise has resulted in an invitation by the New York-based Biennial of the Arts PERFORMA to direct the first reconstruction project of Russolo’s earliest intonarumori orchestra, and to curate concerts of music specifically commissioned for this project. As a composer, conductor, pianist, and musical saw/Vietnamese dan bau soloist, Luciano Chessa has been active in Europe, the U.S., Australia, and South America. Additionally, he has been performing futurist sound poetry for well over 10 years.
 Luciano Chessa holds a D.M.A. in Piano performance and a M.A. in Composition from the G.B. Martini Conservatory of Music in Bologna, Italy; a M.A. magna cum laude in History of Medieval Music from the University of Bologna; and a Ph.D. in Musicology and Music Criticism from the University of California at Davis.

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About Gulizar Haciyakupoglu

A PhD Candidate at Communications & New Media Programme, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
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