Sunday, 23 July 2017

Intonarumori 2

It's now my intention to build four intonarumoris to create a sort of 'classical quartet' or the classic four piece rock band line up. Where intonarumoris have been reproduced recently they have always been used in a controlled classical stage or museum setting. I think it would be interesting to take them out of this context and put them in the hands of contemporary musicians.
Having learned a lot from my experience of building an intonarumori, my making skills are finely tuned. I've now built a smaller (lead higher pitched) intonarumori. Here I have tried to follow Russolo drawing for the patent for the  Intonatore dei rumori. I looked to reproduce the exact proportions in my measurements. The main difference between this intonarumori and my first construction (Apart from the size) is the slider running along two rails higher in the middle of the intonarumori.

 You can see the rail here.
 The only change I made from the plan was not to run the string around a higher dowel labelled 'F' on Russolo's drawing, as I felt this would have over tighten the string and damaged the membrane when the lever is pulled back.

You can see the empty hole where there should be a dowel.
You'll note that the wheel I'm using here is a lot smaller. In Luciano Chessa's book he shows on page 179 which is opposite the above patent drawing, another Russolo's drawing for the patent for Descrizione della prima aggiunta al brevetto depositato l'8/10/1921. This intonarumori is similar in design but has a telescopic sound box but, shows the small wheel which I have chosen to use. I'm still not happy with the sound and intend to experiment with different strings, sizes of wheel and finishes to the wheel.
I need to mention Luciano Chessa's book. Luigi Russolo, Futurist. Noise, visual arts, and the occult. This is a truly remarkable book. It hadn't been published at the start of my intonarumori construction journey but is proving to be a fantastic resource. I'll talk about this book later at greater length.

Intonarumori tweaks and a performance

Here's a shot of me playing at Milton Keynes Galleries Improvised music scratch nights on the 23rd of February. Also in the frame is John Saunders on electronics and Richard Powell on Sax. I had damaged the membrane earlier in the day fixing a new string in so the intonarumori's sound was rather harsh. After two hours of performance the membrane gave way and the handle fell off again!!

 I'm now looking at how I can make the intonarumori more robust and improve it's sound. I noticed I had the string too high up and at an angle to the turning rod. As a result the wheel wasn't touching obliquely. This could make a difference. In Russolo's patent drawing he shows the string being parallel to the wheel turning rod.

The sliding bridge will have to be much lower. I may also have to lower the lever axle. Finally I've bought a length of 12mm aluminum rod and bar for the axle and handle to try and solve the disassembly problem.



 I've also added some speaker cabinet corners and straps.