Valerio Tricoli

The Graham Foundation

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610

Valerio Tricoli offers a special program for Lampo to mark the 100th anniversary of Luigi Russolo’s Futurist manifesto, The Art of Noises (March 1913), one of the most influential texts in 20th century music. For the first time, the idea of noise-sound becomes part of musical discourse, creating the conditions for a radical advancement in sonic art, indeed anticipating and informing the whole experience of musique concrète, electronic music, and of American experimental composers such as John Cage.

In the manifesto, Russolo argues that the current musical avant-garde, even though seeking harmonic and timbre complexity through dissonance, fails in its task of renewing musical language. Orchestras are “hospitals for anemic sounds,” he writes, capable only of limited range of tones, or “a repugnant mixture… of monotonous sensations.”

Russolo lays the foundation of a new music, based on what he calls Futurist noise-sound. All sounds of life, whether natural or derived from man-made devices and machines, should be incorporated into music. He also strongly encourages the development and design of new instruments capable of producing new kinds of noises, suitable to the mise en etre of the now expanded acoustic imagination of the composer. Russolo himself, some months after the publication of the manifesto, would present his own Intonarumori (Noisetuners).

The concert program is divided in two parts:

An Homage to Luigi Russolo, a live electroacoustic improvisation for electronic devices, self-built instruments, found sounds and voice. This structured improvisation will deal with all the sonic practices and possibilities suggested by Russolo in The Art Of Noises. A tuned noise mix that includes references to F. T. Marinetti’s free-word concrete poem Zang Tumb Tumb, which was sent by the author to Russolo only a few months before the conception of The Art Of Noises and indeed represents a major influence on Russolo’s revolutionary ideas. The performance will aim at setting the audience in that Futurist no man’s land, where music hovers between the “brutal recall of real life” and the infinite realm of imagination.

Solidità della Nebbia, a multichannel diffusion of the tape composition. Inspired by the painting of the same name (Luigi Russolo, 1912) and specially composed for this occasion, this tape composition will emphasize Russolo’s generally unacknowledged interest in the occult, and how his aesthetics of noise were intended to “boost practitioners and listeners into higher states of spiritual consciousness” (Luciano Chessa, Luigi Russolo, Futurist, University of California Press, 2012).

Valerio Tricoli (b.1977, Palermo, Italy) is a Berlin-based composer, improviser, sound installation artist, producer, sound engineer and curator bridging musique concrète and conceptual forms of sound with a radical interest in how reality, virtuality and memory relate to each other during the acoustic event. He mostly uses analogue electronic devices (reel-to-reel tape recorders, synthesizers, microphones, light effects, ultrasonic speakers). The structure of the set-up is ever-changing however, seeking multiple relations between the performers, the device and the space in which the event takes place. He is one of the founders of 3/4HadBeenEliminated and the Bowindo label and collective. More recently Tricoli presented a new interpretation of the seminal 1952 John Cage electroacoustic tape piece Williams Mix with Werner Dafeldecker, which premiered at Maerz Musik, Berlin in 2012. He is at work on two compositions for piano and electronic sounds (with Anthony Pateras) and on a concrete music cycle inspired by the Book of Qohelet.

Valerio Tricoli made his U.S. debut at Lampo in March 2008 with Take Thy Horoscope and Walk.

Presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation; support provided by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago