Intonarumori Construction

Luciano Chessa
July 5–18, 2009

Luciano Chessa came to EMPAC to reconstruct Futurist composer and inventor Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori (or noise intoners). In collaboration with EMPAC and Performa, Chessa embarked on this reconstruction using his research that revised longstanding misconceptions about their construction, making this ensemble the first sonically accurate portrayal. Chessa brought instrument builder Keith Carey to EMPAC and a small team worked in Rensselaer’s architectural fabrication studios to produce the ensemble of instruments. A demonstration video was also created to share with a number of composers—Blixa Bargeld, Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Fullman, Ulrich Krieger, and Mike Patton—commissioned by Performa to compose new works for the intonarumori to be premiered at New York City’s Town Hall as part of Performa 09. Chessa is a composer and musicologist, and teaches music history at the San Francisco Conservatory. The research done at EMPAC contributed to his book, Luigi Russolo, Futurist: Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult, published by UC Press in 2012.

Contemporary Performance
Production Credits

A Performa Commission with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and EMPAC