Luigi da Cadamosto

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Russolo, Luigi

Russolo, Luigi , Italian inventor, painter, and composer; b. Portogruaro, April 30, 1885; d. Cerro di Laveno, Varese, Feb. 4, 1947. In 1909 he joined the futurist movement of Marinetti, and formulated the principles of “art of noises” in his book, L’arte dei rumori (Milan, 1916). He constructed a battery of noise-making instruments (“intonarumori”), with which he gave concerts in Milan (April 21, 1914) and Paris (June 18, 1921), creating such a commotion in the concert hall that on one occasion a group of outraged concertgoers mounted the stage and physically attacked Russolo and his fellow noisemakers. The titles of his works sing the glory of the machine and of urban living: Convegno dell’automobili e dell’aeroplani, Il Risveglio di una citta, and Si pranza sulla terrazza dell’Hotel. In his “futurist manifesto” of 1913, the noises are divided into 6 categories, including shrieks, groans, clashes, explosions, etc. In 1929 he constructed a noise instrument which he called “Russolophone.” Soon the novelty of machine music wore out, the erstwhile marvels of automobiles and airplanes became commonplace, and the future of the futurists turned into a yawning past; Russolo gradually retreated from cultivation of noise and devoted himself to the most silent of all arts, painting. His pictures, influenced by the modern French school, and remarkable for their vivid colors, had several successful exhibitions in Paris and N.Y. The text of Russolo’s manifesto is reproduced, in an Eng. tr., in N. Slonimsky’s Music since 1900 (N.Y, 1937; 5th ed., rev., 1994).


M. Zanovello Russolo, R.: L’uomo, l’artista (Milan, 1958); R. Payton, The Futurist Musicians: Francesco Balilla Pratella and L. R. (diss., Univ. of Chicago, 1974); G. Maffina, L. R. e l’arte dei rumori (Turin, 1978).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Luigi da Cadamosto (lōōē´jē dä kädämô´stō), 1432?–1488, Venetian navigator in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal. He seems to have entered Portuguese service in 1454, and he left a record of a voyage in 1455 that is valuable for the information it gives concerning Portuguese activity in the Canary Islands. He and a Genoese, Antonio de Nola, also in Prince Henry's service, went down the African coast to the Gambia River. In 1456 or 1457, Cadamosto reached the Cape Verde Islands, but the question of discovery of the islands is not settled. They may have been sighted by the Portuguese years before; they may have been discovered just a year before; they may have been first visited by Cadamosto. His name also appears as Alvise da Cadamosto.

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Russolo, Luigi (b Portogruaro, 1885; d Cerro di Laveno, 1947). It. composer and painter. Theorist of futurism movement, for which he also comp. In L'arte dei rumori (1913), advocated use of variety of sounds and noises as materials for comp. and invented instrs. for which he developed graphic notation (1926). These were stored in Paris and destroyed during Second World War.

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