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September 04 , 2010

The Partch Reverberations

Notes on a Musical Rebel


One of America's most experimental composers, Harry Partch went on a relentless quest to break through the tradition that dominated Western music for centuries. Over the years he built 40 instruments, all from "found" items, to play microtonalities far beyond the 12-tone scale. He also advocated a corporeal performance style, where musicians played his great. sculpted instruments with vigorous physicality. When he died in 1974, the question persisted for years: what to do with such a priceless - and fragile - legacy?

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