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The Bonus Album Slideshow is a forty minute exposition of Partch's instruments, comprising demonstrations with spoken introductions recorded in 1969
[listen -- 'Quadrangularis Reversum', chapter 23, 37:35-39:21]
and illustrated here by photographs from various sources. It was first issued as a bonus album with Delusion of the Fury on LP. His instruments are as interesting visually as aurally, many approaching the status of sound sculptures.
Partch's Quadrangularis Reversum - a microtonal marimba with bamboo resonators
Revelation, based on Euripides' The Bacchae, is a bizarre conjunction of Americana (trampolinists, gymnasts and a marching band) and ancient Greek tragedy (masked actors). We see only about seven minutes' worth of extracts from the original 1960 Illinois production, as broadcast on American television in 1961, but even these fragments of grainy black and white footage are enough to show what Partch was trying to do; and even today, nearly fifty years later, it would be considered transgressive.
Copyright © 26 July 2007
Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia