12, 20, 21 NOVEMBER 2009

Performa, the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance, presents Music For 16 Futurist Noise Intoners, an evening-length concert of original scores and newly commissioned compositions for the intonarumori, or “noise-intoners”. As part of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of Italian Futurism, the Performa 09 biennial, in collaboration with the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and SFMOMA, has invited Luciano Chessa to direct a reconstruction project to produce accurate replicas the legendary instruments (8 noise families of 1-3 instruments each, in various registers) that Russolo built in Milan in the summer of 1913

Music For 16 Futurist Noise Intoners
will be an extraordinary historic evening in itself; all sixteen instruments that Luigi Russolo built and performed with fellow Futurists only once at the home of F.T. Marinetti in 1913, will be together on stage for an evening-length concert of original scores and compositions by the most significant and adventurous of contemporary experimental composers. As the first instruments capable of creating and manipulating sound through entirely mechanical processes, the intonarumori can be considered as the original analog synthesizer, and the ancestors to the most up-to-date electronic instruments used today.

Luciano Chessa
, composer and Russolo scholar, directed the reconstruction of the instruments and conducts the evening, which includes live performances of three legendary pieces from the past —a fragment from Russolo’s spooky Risveglio di una città (1913), La pioggia nel pineto antidannunziana, a newly-discovered 1916 Futurist piece for intonarumori, and Words in Freedom by Futurist playwright and poet Paolo Buzzi, and wonderfully poetic compositions from the present, including Einstuerzende Neubauten frontman and Nick Cave collaborator Blixa Bargeld, avant-garde saxophonist John Butcher, Deep Listening pioneer Pauline Oliveros, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle vocalist Mike Patton, sound and text-based performer Anat Pick, avant-garde musician Elliott Sharp, vocalist and composer Joan Le Barbara, composer and vocalist Jennifer Walshe collaborating with composer and film/video artist Tony Conrad, and Icelandic supergroup Ghostigital with Finboggi Petursson and Casper Electronics.

Music for 16 Futurist Noise Intoners is commissioned by Performa with SFMoMA and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). Curated with Luciano Chessa with Esa Nickle (Performa).


Two Day Mini-Festival to Present an Exciting Line-Up of Key Musicians and Artists Who Developed the Dynamic Trajectory of Experimental Noise Music

A mini-festival of noise and avant-garde music curated by internationally acclaimed visual artist Mike Kelley, A Fantastic World traces the development of experimental music from the Futurists to Fluxus, from the New York No Wave scene to the industrial sounds of Europe, the groundbreaking Los Angeles Free Music Society, and beyond.

Artists headlining the two-day event include Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore, text-based sound artist Z’EV, No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay, Half-Japanese co-founder Jad Fair, avant-garde composer and musician John Zorn, experimental musician and filmmaker Tony Conrad, vocalist and composer Joan La Barbara, singer and composer Shelley Hirsch and turntablist and visual artist Christian Marclay, electroacoustic trailblazer John Duncan, Joe Potts (Le Forte Four)-headed musical ensemble Airway, Throbbing Gristle leader Genesis Breyer P.Orridge, and Mike Kelley’s own seminal “anti-rock” group Destroy All Monsters. There will also be reconstructions of historic works by John Cage, Fred Frith, Fluxus, Bruce Nauman, and Max Neuhaus, connecting the contemporary proponents of experimental music performing in the festival to their legendary antecedents.

Curator Mike Kelley was born in Detroit in 1954 and brought up amidst the city’s well-known music scene, which spawned bands such as Iggy and the Stooges and MC5. A Fantastic World explores Kelley’s longtime interest in experimental avant-garde music playing with bands such as Destroy All Monsters and Extended Organ. A Fantastic World is presented by Performa. Curated by Mike Kelley and Performa Curator Mark Beasley.


Performa 09, the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization established by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, will be held in New York City from November 1–22, 2009. The three-week festival will showcase new work by more than 80 of the most exciting artists working today, in an innovative program breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, graphic design, and the culinary arts. Presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 60 arts institutions and 25 curators, as well as a network of public spaces and private venues across the city, Performa 09 will ignite New York City with energy and ideas, acting as a vital “think tank” linking minds across the five boroughs and bringing audiences together for brilliant new performances in all disciplines.