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    Partch at the REDCAT 2007

    Partch at the REDCAT 2007.
    Leaving Colfax, Californi-ax!

    Los Angeles, California
    May 30, 2007

    Harry Partch (1901-1974) merely succeeded in realizing the most perfectly constructed, personal musical universe of the 20th Century. Shunning twelve-tone equal temperament—which has dominated Western music for well over a hundred years—he formed his own 43 tone scale realized through an antiquated pure tuning system known as Just Intonation. Harry then built his own strange, sculptural instruments to realize his exotic scores. Over several decades, he meshed this otherworldly-sounding music with dance and drama into what he called “corporeal” presentations, in which these three elements are fully integrated into a powerful, transporting whole. None of them were omitted or relegated to the background, as in traditional stage plays, classical concerts, etc.

    Partch at the REDCAT 2007.
    Going East, mister?

    Partch at the REDCAT 2007.
    Cloud Chamber Bowls, Adapted Guitar, Harmonic Canon. Most of the Partch group’s instruments are recreations based on Harry’s original designs.

    Back in 1991, composer, guitarist and music professor John Schneider formed an ensemble called Just Strings to play microtonal music–in particular that of Harry Partch. In fact, the group got so into it, they eventually changed their name to Partch. Since 2004, they’ve played an annual concert of Harry’s music at the REDCAT theatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In 2007, Partch presented a traveled-themed show featuring the pieces San Francisco, Barstow: Eight Hitchhiker Inscriptions, Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po and Plectra and Percussion Dances; plus a screening of Harry’s original U.S. Highball film from 1958. These talented, classically trained musicians played not only with precision, but, more importantly, with passion. I’m sure Harry Partch would have been proud.

    Partch at the REDCAT 2007.
    Plectra and Percussion Dances.

    Also read Partch at California Plaza and Partch at the REDCAT 2008.

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