Boomkat Product Review:
A composer, a theorist, and an innovator, Harry Partch stands out among so many other American classical artists as one of the most eccentric. He notably rejected the tradition of composers like Beethoven and Bach for a lack of theatricality and drama, and took his greatest inspirations from Eastern Noh theater, frequently incorporating speech and dance into his pieces, as well as requiring participants to perform multiple parts.
"His theories reflected this dismissal, which sought to return musical tradition to those of the pre-Classical era, with a heavy focus on microtonality, and octave intervals beyond what was traditionally utilized. Many of the pieces he composed would prominently feature instruments of his own invention, including heavily modified string instruments, mallet instruments, and pipe organs. Over the course of his life, Partch released a number of records, soundtracked numerous films by Madeline Tourtelot, and wrote the highly influential text Genesis Of A Music, which would introduce his theories to a contemporary audience, and inspire fellow avant-garde composers as Lou Harrison, Ben Johnston, James Tenney, and even the famed experimental collective The Residents.
One of his most famed works was the stage play Delusion Of The Fury, a piece of performance art based upon the Japanese Noh drama Atsumori, while also taking cues from Ethiopian folk tales, Shakespearean tragedy, and ancient Greek traditions. Delusion Of The Fury is looked back upon by critics and historians as one of Partch's seminal works, making heavy use of his signature micro-tonal compositional style, as well as many of his own invented instruments. It is considered his confrontation with his own anger towards a world that frequently rejected him, and dealt him hardship. The play first premiered at the UCLA Playhouse in 1969, whereupon it was recorded by Columbia Records, and presented in a double LP format."