The Art of Noise

Luigi Russolo

The Art of Noise presents the 1913 Futurist manifesto “L’arte dei Rumori” as translated by Robert Filliou. Russolo calls for an infinite expansion of musical vocabulary and sensibility in coordination with that of industrial machinery—“We must enlarge and enrich more and more the domain of musical sounds”—envisioning a machine-based music that would dispense entirely with inherited forms. This publciation made the text widely available in English for the first time. Also included is a description of the “First Concert of Futurist Noise Instruments” in Modena, Italy on June 2, 1913.

Originally published by Something Else Press between 1965 and 1967, the Great Bear Pamphlet series was envisioned by founding editor Dick Higgins as a “poor man’s keys to the new art,” or a means of exposing the most vital work of the time to a mass-market audience, and vice versa. The series made uncompromisingly radical work maximally accessible, with slim, chapbook-like publications of a mostly uniform, pared down design. Taken together, the pamphlets constitute a firsthand survey of the sixties avant-garde (Higgins, Barbara Moore, and Emmett Williams all had a hand in the editorial process) that is both sweeping and utterly unique, transmitting a still-vibrant signal of expanded possibility in art, music, and poetry. Presented here in a facsimile edition, the Great Bears epitomize the utopian vision of Higgins and Something Else.

5 x 8 inches
16 pages
December 2007

Managing Editor: James Hoff