Boomkat Product Review:
50th anniversary edition of a real beauty by Harry Partch - newly expanded with candid bonus material - locating the endlessly explorative American composer and instrument builder at the peak of his creative powers in the mid ‘60s.
"'In late 1962 Harry Partch returned to California and began a project that would not only become the bones of a masterwork, Delusion of the Fury, but have a life of its own. In a too-small space within an abandoned Petaluma chick hatchery, Partch gathered the instruments he had designed and built -- new and old -- eager to once again expand the boundaries of his compositional fabric. He learned each individual part as he composed, establishing that it could be played.
And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma (1963-64, rev. 1966) was born of his exploration and assembled with that 'minimum of players' over a three-year period. In spite of rough conditions and meager resources Partch's dogged persistence, along with the efforts of his dedicated assistants, eventually succeeded in realizing the 34 verses of expanded duets. With this album we revisit an important work and turning-point, guided by the original 'Statement' Partch wrote for the first commercial release of the piece. Previously only excerpted, it is a voicing of his beliefs that transcends one project to illuminate an entire purpose. We also reprise exquisite notes by the late Bob Gilmore, who distills and explains the story of Petals so clearly and eloquently.
No one wants a dead reissue, so by digging into the archives, I am pleased to offer hidden gems. First, The Petals Sessions is an aural glance into the cramped quarters of the recording space, as composer and players labor to bring new notes to life, Harry himself giving direction. The montage ends with a 'test take' by Danlee Mitchell and Michael Ranta that could have easily been a keeper! Finally, we present the original Verse 17. In 1964 Partch wrote two duets that used the Adapted Viola; by the time the piece was finished in 1967, he had excised them. The ending track -- never before released -- brings Harry back to life, playing and recording Adapted Viola for one of the last times. I was completely unaware of this recording until I examined the outtakes and it glows, fifty years on. That Petals ever came to be, like much of Partch's story, stands somewhere between determination and miracle.' -- Jon Szanto, The Harry Partch Foundation"