Intonarumori – Noise Instruments

Intonarumori – Noise Instruments

Mostly because I’ve pulled a lot of hair for 3 months to figure out how they really work and make better sounds, I thought it could be interesting to write about how Intonarumoris are amazing “noise” instruments. 

I find it rather funny, because at the time they were invented, I think it would be 100% accurate to call them “noise machines” – as the word itself comes from old french, and its root is “nausea”. 

First and foremost, intonarumori comes in different sizes, it’s like a violin/viola/cello/double bass in a way. The mechanism is similar in all sizes with minor differences. (ie. string attachments, tension, size, and crank mechanisms)

It makes great noises, especially a whole orchestra of intonarumoris are magically loud. 

I can write a whole page full of details about how awesome it is, but hearing it in the video, would probably describe the awesomeness enough. So I’ll be talking mostly about it’s “noise” aspect, and specifically how it can be upgraded. (or in a way downgraded from its philosophical stand-point) 

Intonarumori is essentially a cello/viola string attached to a box, with a crank virtually bowing the string. This is probably the easiest way to describe it. Trying to compose a piece for 10 intonarumoris is a big issue turns out, because they do not hold tuning. Mainly because of the design of it, intonarumori is imagined to be an instrument of “noise” which isn’t supposed to make tonal sounds. So even if you tune the boxes, they won’t hold the tuning longer than 5 minutes of playtime. This could be a curse or a gift, depending on what the motive is. If the plan is to create something tonal, it causes headaches. If the idea is to make noises, then it makes so much sense. So it’s a perfect noise instrument, but not a good instrument to harmonically compose a whole orchestra-full of it. 

I believe this could both be the strength and the weakness of the instrument. Another strength might be that because it’s hard to hold tuning, it can be played by any non-musically trained person as well. Since it’s all about noise anyway. It also has lots of functional parts that can make all sorts of noise as well. (opening box cover, playing with handlebar *yes it squeeks*, or opening the box and playing the string by hand, or gently pushing the drum skin to which the string is attached to and making even more absurd sounds with it. It’s biggest weakness the size and weight of it. I’m not sure how practical it would be to have a carbon-fiber intonarumori but it would definitely make it easier to carry around to induce greater fear to general public. 


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