Author Topic: Harry Partch (1901-1974)  (Read 9554 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« on: November 28, 2007, 09:01:57 AM »
Next week the new music group Newband is presenting Harry Partch's Delusion of the Fury (1965-66), which some think is his masterpiece.  (I don't think I've ever heard it.)  It's being presented at the Japan Society, and is the first time it has been staged since 1969.

I first heard Partch's Castor and Pollux decades ago on a 1969 Columbia LP called The World of Harry Partch (below), and later other works, most of which were performed by Newband, now the curator of Partch's unusual instruments.  (They are now based at Montclair State University in New Jersey.)

Anyway, other fans of Partch, and favorite recordings?  (I know there aren't that many.)

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karlhenning

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 09:05:07 AM »
Quote from: Brian Eno
If there is a lasting message from experimental music, it's this: music is something your mind does.

Brilliant!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 09:09:31 AM »
Brilliant!

Nice quote, eh!  Glad you like it.  :D

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Sean

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 09:14:05 AM »
Possibly from the same recording (can't remember it) I've tried Castor and Pollux and Ring around the moon from the Plectra and percussion dances set and Eleven Instrusions. I found it to be one more late 20th century excursion into an interesting but inherently limited new sonic realm, another case of rummaging through the charred remains of Western music. Is there much differentiation between his works?!

karlhenning

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 09:20:07 AM »
. . . another case of rummaging through the charred remains of Western music.

Ah, yes. Welcome back (again), Sean!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 09:22:20 AM »
I find his works very stimulating and, far from having an "interesting but inherently limited sonic realm," Partch opened up new sonic realms, by inventing new instruments and deploying new scales to use with them.  But if you feel it's "rummaging through the charred remains of Western music" I doubt there's much I can say to persuade you otherwise.

--Bruce
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Sean

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 09:34:56 AM »
A bit OT this but comparing quotes, I recorded Glass's Heroes symphony off the radio last night, with its reworkings of Eno's melodies...

Offline Ugh!

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 10:13:53 AM »
I'm surprised to see that the Harry Partch thread never really took off...
Anyway, here is Delusions of Fury on Youtube...
(How the devil do you embed vids here?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6buNHKzS-Nc


Offline Brewski

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 10:53:24 AM »
Here you go.  (Note that you have to change the pixel sizes.)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2663.0.html

--Bruce
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greg

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 03:03:53 PM »
I'm surprised to see that the Harry Partch thread never really took off...
Anyway, here is Delusions of Fury on Youtube...
(How the devil do you embed vids here?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6buNHKzS-Nc


Funny you post this now- yesterday was my first time listening to this work, and it was those videos. I was so stunned how amazing it sounded from beginning to end, I was speechless. Masterpiece is an understatement.


Which instrument is that which enters at about 1:50 in the second video? He puts that out there every now and then, and i have to say, what a melancholy sound!  :o (yet completely unlike what I've heard before) The entrance at about 7:50 is unbelievable- is it just me?  ???
I mean, seriously, when I listen to that section i get chills..... and to think that it's from all these instruments is even more amazing.
Mainly, it's pretty rhythmic throughout, but there really is a wide range of emotion going on- takes music drama in a whole different direction, and it'd be nice to hear about other composers following in his footsteps.

(btw, that ending to the first video, too-  :o !!!)

an old link to play hi instruments:

http://musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/feature_partch.html
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 03:14:58 PM by G$ »

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 03:20:42 PM »
Someone here posted this link a long time ago. It's still fun (and relevant to this thread, too!) 

http://musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/feature_partch.html#
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Offline Ugh!

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 01:08:01 AM »

Which instrument is that which enters at about 1:50 in the second video? He puts that out there every now and then, and i have to say, what a melancholy sound!  :o (yet completely unlike what I've heard before) The entrance at about 7:50 is unbelievable- is it just me?  ???

Well there are three simultaneous instruments that enter at both around 1:50 AND 7:50 in the second video. I suspect you are referring to the strings, which I believe must be the Cry chord, although he had made close to 30 instruments for Delusions....

And I totally agree, a remarkable modern masterpiece which sounds more timeless and out of place than anything else....

greg

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 11:26:13 AM »
It might be the Crychord, but I'm not sure. I played the instrument on that page, but I'm still not sure.
It makes the notes G G# A G# A G# G (which is left hanging), over what sounds like a bass of E, which is a late-Romanticism-type line, actually.

Offline Cato

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 02:49:23 PM »
Someone here posted this link a long time ago. It's still fun (and relevant to this thread, too!) 

http://musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/feature_partch.html#

I believe I posted that!   0:)

Yes, Partch has his moments! 

CD Baby has a Partch CD, along with other microtonalists: I recommend this one, especially because of the Julian Carrillo work.

http://cdbaby.com/cd/pitchrecs3
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Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2011, 04:03:55 AM »
Just a thumbs up for Partch, the true musical maverick. I'm a huge fan of Barstow & U.S. Highball, which basically expands on the concept of the former, and many of his short pieces are such a delight to listen to as well.

BBC did a fine documentary on him called The Outsider.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 04:32:58 AM by Rinaldo »

Offline mjwal

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2011, 04:28:29 AM »
I still have the CBS LPs of the Delusion - intoxicating stuff. I'd like to recommend Revelation in the Courthouse Park (after The Bacchae) - also on YouTube, but the later recording on Tomato is the one to get. Interesting comparison with Henze's Bassariden.
The Violin's Obstinacy

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not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
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Offline milk

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2014, 05:30:21 AM »
This looks amazing:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/TKU0KBivZ7c" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/TKU0KBivZ7c</a>

Offline torut

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2014, 05:13:40 PM »
Some compositions related to Partch.

Marc Sabat - November 15, 1935 - Leaving Santa Barbara (2007)
based on a sketch by Harry Partch
solo male Intoning Voice and Violin with spoken voice aside
           

Marc Sabat - 3 Chorales for Harry Partch (1993)
retuned violin and viola
           

James Tenney - Mallets in the Air (2002)

Quote
Mallets in the Air is a just-intonation piece featuring the Harry Partch-designed diamond marimba with string quartet. It is Tenney’s arrangement of the second movement of his earlier work Song ‘n’ Dance for Harry Partch (1999), a piece for adapted viola, diamond marimba, strings, and percussion.



This is a nice compilation of (mostly) 21st century American music.

Offline 7/4

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2014, 05:41:59 PM »
Someday I want to own the entire Cold Blue catalog, i don't have that compilation. It looks interesting.

Dean Drummond died last year, he was director of NewBand. I heard they're looking for a new home for the Partch instruments (again)...I don't know any more.

Offline torut

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Re: Harry Partch (1901-1974)
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2014, 06:50:46 PM »
Cold Blue's catalog looks very nice, there are many recordings of postminimalism composers' works. I only have that compilation, Whittington and Garland (thank you.)

I thought that Partch is kind of isolated, one and only type of composer, but when I was searching for just intonation composers, I often found the mention of Partch. In Cold Blue Two liner notes, Tenney wrote about an interesting relationship with Partch: Tenney wrote about Song 'n' Dance for Harry Partch, "Perhaps in this work I can finally repay my considerable debt to Harry Partch, without incurring his wrath. As his student/assistant, for several months in 1959, our relationship was somewhat problematic—mainly, I believe, because I was unwilling to become the devoted disciple that he needed—and surely deserved (if anyone deserves such a thing). But now, many years later, I have to admit that I learned everything I know about just/microtonal tuning theory from Partch and/or his book, Genesis of a Music."