Luigi Russolo

Luigi Russolo was born in Portogruaro on 30 April 1887. 

He joined the Famiglia Artistica di Milano group where he first met Carlo Carrà and Umberto Boccioni. At this stage he was interested mainly in Symbolist-influenced painting and engraving. 

Russolo joined the Futurist movement at the beginning of 1910 and immediately became an activist, taking part in all the serata, or Futurist evenings, and other activities.  He became a particularly active member of the group, co-signing the Manifesto of Futurist Painters and the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting (both 1910)

In 1913 he wrote his own manifesto, The Painting of Sounds, Noises and Smells, in which he discussed the synthesis of Cubism and Futurism in his painting and his objective of affecting the senses through the use of colour and dynamic composition. On 11 October 1913 he signed, The Political Programme of Futurism along with Marinetti, Boccioni and Russolo.

During 1914 he participated in the interventionist demonstrations and was arrested and imprisoned for six days with Marinetti, Boccioni, Carrà and Mazza.     

When Italy entered the First World War (1915), Russolo joined a battalion of cyclist volunteers with many other Futurists. He was promoted to lieutenant of the 'Brenta' 5th Alpine Battalion. On 17 December 1917 he was seriously wounded in the head at Malga Camerona. Cranial surgery and 18 months of recovery later he participated in the riots leading to the sacking and burning of the offices of the Socialist newspaper Avanti in Milan with Marinetti, Balla and Vecchi on April 1919.

Throughout most of the 1920's Russolo performed across Europe with his intonorumori. He wrote and performed Futurist musical scores for both the theatre and the cinema. He wrote the music for the film The March of the Machines, wrote the music and appeared with Marinetti in Futurists in Paris and appeared in Montparnasse with Marinetti and Prampolini - all three films are now lost. With the advent of sound in the cinema Russolo gave up music, giving his last performance on 28 December 1929 in Paris.

He died on 4 February 1947 in Cerro di Laveno.

Select Works by Luigi Russolo


To hear mp3's of Russolo's musical performances look in the "Italy Timeline Art" folder on the cd I gave you. Go into the "music&sound" folder.

The Performances are of...

1. Aviator (written by Praetella, performed by Luigi Russolo and his orchestra)

2. Corale (written by Angelo Russolo, performed by Luigi Russolo and his orchestra)

3. Seranata (written by Angelo Russolo, performed by Luigi Russolo and his orchestra)