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Title: The highest in music is that which in its conscious content has been shattered…
Author: William Shaw
Source: Zig Zag
Publish date: June 85

“The highest in music is that which in its conscious content has been shattered by the explosions of last week, which is forever trying to collect its limbs after yesterday’s crash. The best and most extraordinary artists will be those who every hour snatch the tatters of their bodies out of the frenzied cataract of life, with bleeding hands and heart they hold the first intelligence of our time.”

That’s from a 1918 Dadaist manifesto written by Richard Hulsenbeck who’s also the supplier of some experimental futurists pieces of music from a new compilation ‘Dada For Now’ being released by Liverpool’s Ark records. The LP claims to contain early futurists soundworks salvaged from old tapes and pressings by Liverpool School of Art lecturer Colin Fallows who originally began collecting the material for a series of lectures demonstrating how much of the futurists’ work has become a primary source for today’s art hip musicians. As well as Morley’s ZTT/Art of Noise ventures, there’s Cabaret Voltaire, Bauhaus, and The Armoury Show who have all lifted their names from the futurists vocabulary, not to mention the scores of others who’ve rifled through the ideas.

It was Luigi Gossello who laid out some of the founding principles of futurists’ music in this 1913 Manifesto ‘The Art Of Noises’ in which he foresaw the development of the use of sounds well beyond conventional instruments, examining the possibilites of the tonal and rhythmic qualities of noise. Luigi built huge noise generating machines, and achieved there the distinction of being bottled off at the London Colliseum during a performance with fellow futurist Marinetti.

The bizarre set of soundworks including orchestral, vocal, and ‘noises’ pieces — seems to have survived remarkably well, apparently bearing compositions by Luigi Rosollo and his brother Antonio, Cabaret Voltaire founder Hugo Ball, Arthur Honegger, Tristan Tzara, Marcello Janco, Kurt Schwitters and Giacomo Balla.