On public radio this a.m., I heard a show called "The MTT Files," with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. This one was titled "You Call That Music?" and was about the early history of the inclusion of noise, or imitated nature sounds, or ambient sounds, in classical music. Noise was first written into the music as dissonance in the 20th century. Anyway, it was interesting. Listen to the program and see the playlist here. It ranges from Mozart's Serenade in B-flat, K. 361 (“Gran Partita”) to Steve Reich's "Four Organs."
I've heard many things at Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto that blur the music/noise line, although festival audiences in these more modern times are much more tolerant of new music. When it premiered in 1914, Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" (now a Piccolo fave) scandalized the Paris audience, which hissed and booed and hollered.
Among the fun "noisy" composers/compositions/performers I remember from festivals past:
Toy concert pianist Margaret Leng-Tan playing Alvin
Lucier's "Nothing is Real," scored for piano, teapot and miniature sound system that plays a Beatles song.
William Gudger performing John Cage's famous, or infamous, "4 Minutes, 33 Seconds," a piece consists of four minutes and thirty-three seconds in
which the performer sits at the piano and plays nothing. It's not really "silent" because you hear the audience shuffle, cough, stir, and since it was written in 1952, most audiences know what to expect.