Partch work quilting

Today, some of us at the EMC feel a bit Partched, given that Harry Partch has won a Grammy. So many people have been talking about Partch that we followed one of the YouTube links (thanks to our friend, the John Cage expert, David Patterson) to a 1958 film about Partch in which he shows off his instruments. This film can be found on a DVD from Innova Recordings, which includes four rare films and performances (see here: ). The DVD also includes a 1968 film about Partch that was broadcast on KPBS San Diego (a film that appeared briefly on YouTube but was removed), and a 1981 performance of Barstow at San Diego State University by Danlee Mitchell and the SDSU Partch Ensemble.* But for the moment, luxuriate in the demonstrations of Partch’s instrumentation. Microtonal sounds so juicy you could swim in them….

*I was a graduate teaching assistant at SDSU in 1980–81 and got a glimpse of early rehearsals for that performance. As a TA, it was my responsibility to keep undergrads off the cloud chamber bowls, which were stored at the back of the recital hall.

Author: Virginia

Virginia Anderson is a writer who messes with the EMC Blog. She specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation.