Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Harry Partch

Video Finds of the Day

One of my heroes, Harry Partch (1901 – 1974) was an under-appreciated American original. He composed his own music on his own instruments using nonstandard scales, including a 43-tone scale of his own invention. He was homeless for ten years during the depression and wrote about it. He drew upon a love of Asian, Hispanic, and Native American music. He worked in collaboration with other artists to produce stage performances. He marketed his own albums the hard way, without the benefit of the internet, just vinyl and snail mail.

I discovered his music about 15 years ago on a cassette tape some fan had recorded that found its way into the Seattle Public Library. I'm thrilled to find him on YouTube.

In the first two videos he demonstrates his instruments.

Harry Partch - Music Studio - Part 1 of 2

Harry Partch - Music Studio - Part 2 of 2

The next is the 4th of 8 that present a 1968 stage performance to Delusions of the Fury, one of his best known works. I picked the 4th because the 1st is more introduction. All 8 can be found among the posts of blaxipad.

Finally, Partch doing a great rant, concerning his atheist Father and rose petal jam.

Harry Partch [Railing against incompetent reporters.]

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