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PARTCH_Ulysses at the Edge (1955/71)
Harry Partch’s Ulysses at the Edge of the World, originally written for jazz trumpeter Chet Baker and subtitled “A Minor Adventure in Rhythm,” also exists in multiple versions. In its 4th and final incarnation, the composer joined trumpet and baritone sax to honor the popular Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan duo [he was a fan], replacing the initial double bass part with the Bass Marimba. Syncopations and time signatures of five and seven easily predate Dave Brubeck, culminating in a pithy punchline that features a cop arresting the titular homeless Greek hero for vagrancy.
LSD: The Opera, Bicycle Day (Scene 1)
Castor & Pollux
A wild ride in Disney Hall as Music of Microtonal Composer/Inventor Harry Partch Is performed on amazing Instruments by PARTCH, an acclaimed ensemble Under the direction of John Schneider, -Noted Musician, Educator, Founder of Microfest, He hosts the KPFK weekly Radio Show “Global Village” and also hosted the “SOUNDBOARD TV series.
“O Frabjous Day!”
Callooh! Callay! It’s the return of “The Jabberwocky” [“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!] from Lewis Carroll’s THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE, 1872. Partch premiered the piece at the Young People’s Concert Series of the Mill Valley Outdoor Club in February 1954, coupled with “The Mock Turtle Song.” Members of the band PARTCH [John Schneider & TJ Troy] performing at MicroFest 2015.
“The Mock Turtle Song”
Partch’s delightful setting from Lewis Carroll’s ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND was written for a performance of the Young People’s Concert Series of the Mill Valley Outdoor Club in February 1954, coupled with “O Frabjous Day!”
SONATA DEMENTIA (1950)
Harry Partch’s first extended abstract composition was initially called Tonality Flux, the term he used for his brand of microtonal modulation. Its completion had to await the construction of the Bass Marimba & the Hypobass, and by the time the virtuosic “Mumbo-Jumbo…” vocal part had been added, it was renamed Sonata Dementia (1950), perhaps reflecting the psychological stress the composer felt in his isolation at Gualala. It was left unperformed until 1952 when added revisions were completed at Mills College, and it was presented as Ring Around The Moon. When recorded as such, the composer called it, “A satire on the world of singers and singing, music and dance; on concerts and concert audiences, where the occasional perception of an American word is an odd kind of shock. Also a satire on the world in general, on whimsy and caprice, on music in 43 tones to the octave, on people who conceive such things, on grand flourishes that lead to nothing, on satyrs, or on nothing.” L.A.’s PARTCH premiered the original version at REDCAT in 2006 as part of MicroFest.

Discography

Sonata Dementia

Bridge Records 9525, 2019.

Plectra & Percussion Dances

Bridge Records 9432, 2014 — GRAMMY AWARD winner for Best Classical Compendium, also nominated for Best Chamber Music Performance.

Bitter Music

Harry Partch’s Depression Journal; Bridge Records 9349 A/B/C, 2011 — GRAMMY AWARD Nominee, 2012 – Best Classical Compendium

Enclosure 8

Harry Partch. Castor & Pollux w/dancers Innova Records DVD, 2007

Color Theory

Music for Saxophones, Percussion and Harry Partch Instruments Future Lilacs (2016) by Ken Ueno (b. 1970) PRISM Quartet, PARTCH, Derek Johnson, Stratis Minakakis + Skiagrafies (2016) by Stratis Minakakis (b. 1979) PRISM Quartet, PARTCH, Stratis Minakakis XAS Records #102 (2017)

VIREO – The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser

Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser First Episodic Made-for-TV & Online Opera Composed & Conceived by Lisa Bielawa Directed by Charles Otte | Libretto by Erik Ehn Developed as a Grand Central Art Center artist-in-residence project Orange Mountain Music