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  • Radio Syntheses

Marinetti's experiments with recorded sound begin in 1914 with a series of recordings of poetic recitations carried out in a London recording studio. His interest in the medium of radio dates back to Futurism's beginnings but starts carrying over into the realm of practice in the mid to late 1920s. During his 1926 tour of South America, Marinetti makes repeated appearances on Brazilian and Argentine radio stations. These are followed by sixteen years of active collaboration with the Italian national radio (the EIAR), founded in 1928, which involve everything from declaiming aeropoems, to serving as a live action commentator of major events like the August 1932 return from the United States of Italo Balbo's flying squadron, to hosting a regularly broadcast radio bulletin on the activities of the futurist movement. In 1931, he participates in an important debate on radio and radio drama organized by the review Il convegno (12.7–8), along with Massimo Bontempelli, Silvio d'Amico, and Anton Giulio Bragaglia. At the end of the same year he and Mino Somenzi publish their manifesto Il teatro aereo radiotelevisivo, followed by the publication in September 1932 of Il manifesto della radio futurista, co-authored with Pino Masnata. The following five radio syntheses date from this period of intense reflection on the expressive potential of radio, even though they were only published ten years later in Autori e scrittori 6.8 (Aug. 1941), accompanied by a reprinting of the second manifesto and by eight other radio syntheses by Masnata. [End Page 415]

  • An Acoustical Landscape, and: Drama of distances, and: Silences speak among themselves, and: Battle of Rhythms, and: Building a Silence
  • Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Jeffrey Schnapp
    Translated by Jeffrey T. Schnapp

An Acoustical Landscape

The whistle of a blackbird envious of the fire's crackle ended up putting out the water's whispery gossip

  • 10 seconds of lapping.

  • 1 second of crackling.

  • 8 seconds of lapping.

  • 1 second of crackling.

  • 5 seconds of lapping.

  • 1 second of crackling.

  • 19 seconds of lapping.

  • 1 second of crackling.

  • 25 seconds of lapping.

  • 1 second of crackling.

  • 35 seconds of lapping.

  • 6 seconds of blackbird whistling. [End Page 416]

Drama of distances

  • 11 seconds a military march in Rome.

  • 11 seconds a tango being danced in Santos.

  • 11 seconds of Japanese religious music being played in Tokyo.

  • 11 seconds of a lively rustic dance in the Varese countryside.

  • 11 seconds of a boxing match in New York.

  • 11 seconds of street noise in Milan.

  • 11 seconds of a Neapolitan love song sung in the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. [End Page 417]

Silences speak among themselves

  • 15 seconds of pure silence.

  • A flute's do re mi.

  • 8 seconds of pure silence.

  • A flute's do re mi.

  • 29 seconds of pure silence.

  • A piano's sol.

  • A trumpet's do.

  • 40 seconds of pure silence.

  • A trumpet's do.

  • An infant's wah wah.

  • 11 seconds of pure silence.

  • An eleven year old girl's stupefied ooooh. [End Page 418]

Battle of Rhythms

  • A prudent and patient slowness expressed by means of the tap tap tap of water drops first cut off then killed off by

  • A flying elasticity composed of arpeggios of piano notes first cut off then killed off by

  • A loud ringing of an electric doorbell first cut off and then killed off by

  • A three minute long silence first cut off and then killed off by

  • A toiling key in lock tat rum ta trac followed by

  • A one minute long silence. [End Page 419]

Building a Silence

  1. 1. Build a wall on the left with a drum roll (one half minute)

  2. 2. Build a wall on the right with trumpeting – shouting – auto tram a squealing of capital (one half minute)

  3. 3. Build a floor with the gurgling of water in pipes (one half minute)

  4. 4. Build a ceiling terrace with the chip chip srschip of sparrows and swallows (20 seconds) [End Page 420]



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