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    Harry Partch – Delusion of the Fury

    Harry Partch - Delusion of the Fury

    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 or classical concerts.

    “Delusion Of The Fury is the composition that Partch crafted most carefully as a corporeal, or total-theater work. It was his last large piece, and it summed up all of his dreams that such a work could bring to bear on the stage. In it the musicians and dancers form a truly integrated ensemble of stage craft, costuming, sound, movement and ritual.” Finally, here’s a CD reissue of the 3-LP box set that came out on Columbia in the early ’70s, minus the disc of spoken / played introductions to Harry Partch’s instruments. (If I were the boss, I would’ve expanded this release to a 2-CD set and included it.)

    A grip of new photos, art and liner notes makes up for that, though, and this co-release with Sony Music Special Products pretty much stands as the final document of Partch’s recorded legacy to be released on CD, so now almost all of his music is currently available. (Check out the rest of the Enclosures series on Innova, the four CDs on New World Records and The Lyrics Of Li Po on Tzadik for the rest of the story.) Apparently, this is a remastered version—probably from original tapes—and sounds quite clear with a bit of audible hiss. It’s great that the average person once again has the chance to easily bask within one of Partch’s most fully-realized, mature works featuring his microtonal percussion, stringed and adapted instruments–all of which also function beautifully as sculpture. This re-issue is definitely a much-needed winner all the way around.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 406 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 14 Total Time: 72:02 Country: United States Released: 1999 More: American Mavericks, Corporeal Meadows, Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last FM, Microtonal Synthesis, Newband, Harry Partch, Wikipedia, YouTube

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

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