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Opening June 5, THE MUSEUM, 10 King St W, Kitchener, ON


PLUCK, PEDAL, WHIP and DRUM your own composition of sounds in this fun installation suitable for all ages.


Wednesday ..................10am - 9pm

Thursday ......................10am - 4pm

Friday ...........................10am - 4pm

Saturday .......................10am - 5pm

Sunday ........................10am - 5pm

Meet the artists and learn about the work at THESKINNY, June 7th at 230 pm.

In 1913, futurist painter and composer Luigi Russolo wrote L’arte dei Rumori, or “The Art of Noises”. Russolo built a famous set of mysterious noise machines, called Intonarumori to recreate the sounds of the Industrial Revolution. In honour of the 100 year anniversary of the The Art of Noises, urbanSTEW built their own futurist noise machines to recreate the sounds of our own Digital Revolution! This amazing project won the grand prize in the first Make Magazine Raspberry Pi contest in 2013, for artists and makers using the clever computer contraption known as Raspberry Pi.

Project Inspiration: A Brief History of Intonarumori

The Intonarumori came from a futurist art movement fathered by experimental painter and composer Luigi Russolo. Russolo was considered to be the first “noise artist.” In 1913 he wrote L’Arte dei Rumori, translated as The Art of Noises. In this Russolo stated that the industrial revolution had given modern men a greater capacity to appreciate more complex sounds. He found traditional melodic music confining and envisioned noise music as its future replacement. Russolo’s Art of Noises classified “noise-sound” into six general groups:

  • Roars

  • Whistles

  • Whispers

  • Screeches

  • Bangs

  • Voices of animals and people

Intonarumori machines were designed to recreate the industrials sounds of the early 20th century. Shaped like a box with a speaker on the front face, performers could generate sounds by manipulating levers, knobs, and buttons. Futurist composers created symphonies for the machines, although early performances were often met with disapproval and even fist fights. Since the Italian Futurist movement, many people have created their own Intonarumori machines, often with an open or translucent side so that the internal workings of the device are visible.

Russolo built noise machines to recreate the sounds of the Industrial Revolution, so in honor of the 100 year anniversary of The Art of Noises, urbanSTEW built noise machines to recreate the sounds of our current Digital Revolution. The final installation is a set of six machines, one for each of the classified “noise-sounds” found in Russolo’s manifesto. By playing with simple buttons, cranks, and levers users can create and manipulate sounds that are a familiar to our current digital soundscape. Our six boxes are called: Bass Box, Bike Box, Blender Box, IR Drum Box, Theremin Box and Water Box.

ur•ban•STEW [ur-buhnstoo]

1. Safe Terrain for Experimental Work

2. urbanSTEW is an arts collective dedicated to inspiring and expanding the relevance of digital arts in the community. Our commitment to education, artistic practice, and creative tool development grows out of immediate public needs and interests. We are passionate about helping people and engaging audiences through participation. We are dedicated to sharing our skills and knowledge with all who are interested.

3. urbanSTEW makes digital art, teaches people to make digital art and develops tools to create art. Can be confused with: rural soup, suburban porridge, urban,urbane recipes.