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A Wonderful Introduction

The work of Harry Partch -
reviewed by
MALCOLM TATTERSALL

'... the musical language is direct and approachable.'

Enclosure 7 - Harry Partch. © 2006 American Composers Forum

First, a confession: Harry Partch lurked for years on the shadowy margins of my musical world, as mysterious to me as the Ruwenzori, Africa's 'Mountains of the Moon'. His music was inaccessible without a special effort and was rumoured to be weird, daunting and unattractive. 'Because it was there' was not enough to make me go in search of it, however much I enjoyed my excursions to nearby territories.

Innova has changed all that. Their 'Enclosure' series (which now consists of audio CDs, books, videotapes and this DVD) has documented much of Partch's work and made it readily available to the armchair traveller. Enclosure 7, the latest and perhaps last of the series, is a wonderful introduction to the man and an excellent introduction to his music. It consists of a film of his music-theatre masterpiece, Delusion of the Fury, a portrait film, The Dreamer that Remains, and some valuable extras [Watch and listen -- 'The Dreamer that Remains', chapter 6, 9:02-10:16].

Partch at the Cloud Chamber Bowls, one of the many instruments he designed and constructed himself
Partch at the Cloud Chamber Bowls, one of the many instruments he designed and constructed himself

 

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Copyright © 26 July 2007 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia

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