Personal View of the History
"Free Sound" Music
1910 can be considered as the time when any and all
began to be understood as the material out of which music can be made.
It was then that Luigi
Russolo began formulating his theory of The
Art Of Noises, and Nikolai Kulbin pubished his essay Free Music.
Is is astounding that Varese is given so much credit
introducing sound in to musical composition given Russolo's Art of
manifesto, and his diligent
implementation of the ideas in the intonarumori instruments
and music for the ensemble.
||"The variety of noises is infinite. If today,
have perhaps a thousand different machines, we can distinguish a
different noises, tomorrow, as new machines multiply, we will be able
distinguish ten, twenty, or thirty thousand different noises, not
in a simply imitative way, but to combine them according to our
(Russolo, from Art of Noises", 1914).
There are only a few copies of the 1910 Studiia Impressionistov, in
which Nikolai Kulbin wrote his "Free Music". NY Public Library in New
York City has one of them, and I was lucky enough to be given
permission to photograph the article (the book was far to delicate for
a copy machine). Here are my photographs of the Russian article
(including some of the lithographs hand pasted into the journal)
Kulbin, Nikolai, 1910.
Free music. In N. Kulbin (ed.) Studiia Impressionistov. St. Petersburg:
Here is a picture of the first page of Kulbin's
1910 article Free Music:
(I hope to have a translation of the whole article here soon;
is from this essay).
'People are organs of a living earth - and the cells of its body. The
symphony of the cosmic concert is the music of nature - the natural
music". If you pay attention to this art and laws of its development,
knows that the noises of the sea, wind, thunderstorm, makes a symphony
as well as the music of birds - but right now, people exploit the music
of nature according to the old laws - if they were paying more
they would be enlightened more - It would turn out that water, air and
birds, don't sing according to our notes, but using all the notes that
they find pleasure in - and with that, the laws of the natural music
observed exactly' (translated from the Russian by Ruslana Zitserman and
Sea View, 1910