Luigi Nono – Non Consumiamo Marx

Luigi Nono – Non Consumiamo Marx LP front cover
Luigi Nono – Non Consumiamo Marx LP back cover
Luigi Nono – Non Consumiamo Marx LP side A

During the 1960s, in addition to his boycott of official, bourgeois concert venues, Luigi Nono (1924-1990) abandoned orchestral music in favor of works for magnetic tape, supposedly easier to set up in the streets or in factories on light PA systems, as the composer wanted to connect with workers directly. Accordingly, in 1968, Nono decided to boycott the Venice Biennale, which was considered by leftists a “fortress of bourgeois art”. The 1968 Biennale was marked by student protest, gallery occupation and violent riot police confrontations (see pictures below). In 1969, Nono used audio recordings from these events in Non Consumiamo Marx, or Don’t Consume Marx, to protest against the compulsory Biennale. Both Un Volto, Del Mare and Non Consumiamo Marx were premiered at Fête de l’Huma in 1969, the annual French Communist Party festival, where Nono was invited as a member of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party. Those were the days…

Above: events at St Mark’s Square and gallery occupation, Venice, 1968

Though both sides of this LP are dubbed Musica Manifesto No.1 and 2, the two tracks are actually quite different. Un Volto, Del Mare, 1968, for soprano, reader and tape was conceived at Studio di Fonologia Musicale of the RAI radio in Milano (visit here). The text is from Cesare Pavese’s Il Mattino, included in his book Lavorare Stanca (Hard Labor), 1936, expanded 1943. Soprano Cadigia Bove premiered several Nono pieces of the period, like A Floresta É Jovem E Cheja De Vida (1966) or Contrappunto dialettico alla mente (1967). On Un Volto,…, she contributes wordless, ethereal vocals with added sound treatment, which, along the electronic drone sounds, serve as a lyrical background to the neutral reading. The result is a serene, contemplative setting of the original poem. The monolithic Non Consumiamo Marx, composed 1969, is based on readings from slogans used during the May 1968 Paris riots, along a background of recordings made during the 1968 Venice Biennale protestations. The music consists of a noisy electroacoustic montage of protestation sounds with dense electronic drones, mixed in a rather aggressive way. The uncompromising music deliciously approximates street riots between your ears.

[Thanks to Giuseppe for his help with this post]

  1. Un Volto, Del Mare (16:25)
    Liliana Poli, reader
    Cadigia Bove, soprano
    Luigi Nono, composer, electronic sounds, magnetic tape
  2. Non Consumiamo Marx (16:54)
    Edmonda Aldini, reader
    Luigi Nono, composer, electronic sounds, magnetic tape

Total time 33:19
LP released by I Dischi Del Sole, Italy, 1969


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16 Responses to “Luigi Nono – Non Consumiamo Marx”

  1. 1 sljk October 27, 2011 at 6:36 am

    wow thanks for all these great posts … love from the desert.

  2. 2 continuo October 27, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I’m glad noises from the city can reach you where you are.

  3. 3 Adamski October 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

    More Nono tape music: (Review)

    However, it only compiles the solo tape works. In my humble opinion his tape+voice stuff (like ‘Marx’) is more “magical” and interesting.

  4. 4 continuo October 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I’d like to hear Contrappunto dialettico alla mente, though, some day.
    Thanks for your comment.

  5. 5 John Hails (@harmonyharmony) October 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Thanks! Am looking forward to listening to these later today.

  6. 6 continuo October 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

    The rebel in you will enjoy this one, I’m sure. Thanks for your comment.

  7. 7 h. cage October 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Great ! I’ve been curious about NCM ever since I read this hilarious account of a “live” performance of it:

  8. 8 continuo October 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Like any other music genres, dogmatic music has its highs and lows. I think Nono’s electroacoustic music of the 1960s belongs to the former.
    Thanks for your comment.

  9. 9 beran November 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Hi, thank you so much, why not record all your high-quality release? Using a format like the .FLAC or .APE?

    Thanks again

  10. 10 continuo November 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    1) I use the mp3 format for convenience with a majority of readers.
    2) I don’t get enough return on investment with this blog to justify a premium, customer-oriented service.
    3) There’s no substitute to the vinyl experience.

  11. 11 beran November 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Agree, thanks!

  12. 12 deelight March 3, 2012 at 3:39 am

    brilliant blog – fascinating..

    ..cannot get the multi upload link here to load.. any ideas?


  13. 13 deelight March 3, 2012 at 3:47 am


    sorry – found it in re-ups.. the ‘where do you want to download’ on the download link is pretty good!


  14. 15 Giorgio Sancristoforo May 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    excellent post
    mind you in the tracklist:
    Un Volto, Del Mare (16:25), not Volte ;)

  15. 16 continuo May 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Shame on me, Giorgio! I corrected the typo. Thanks.

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