Harry Partch

Enclosure One

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Harry Partch was one-time hobo turned eclectic and original American composer. Especially enamored of the ancient modes of music, Partch became adept at recreating these lost scales and designing instruments to explore the musical possibilities. His creations include Cloud-Chamber Bowls, a collection of glass bowls with a church bells-like sound, and the Diamond Marimba. The Diamond Marimba is only diamond in shape and is designed such that left-hand strokes provide minor chords and right-hand strokes major ones. In working so outside of Western compositional and instrumental convention, Partch invented his own scale of 43 tones. The Chromelodeon is an organ constructed to produce the tones of this crowded octave. In Enclosure One, Partch introduces his concepts, instruments, and recording techniques from his own home. We also see that he, an indie original, even distributes his own independently released albums "mostly through the mail." Uniquely mated to post-modern notions of dance and performance, Partch composed music for short, theatric films. These are collected on Enclosure One and another video collection, Enclosure Four.