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Harry Partch Video from Innova

Harry Partch Videos from Innova
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Innova calls our attention to a review at Audiophile Audition of this DVD, Innova #399.

Here is just the first paragraph, a tease if you will,

“Harry Partch, whose dates are 1901-1974, was such a unique composer that he makes the usual contrarian of American classical music – Charles Ives – look like a conservative hack. Partch combined a dizzying array of personalities: composer, conductor, instrumentalist, painter, performer, theorist, writer, dramaturg, visual artist, philosopher, musicologist, carpenter, sound-sculptor, copy editor, hobo, proofreader, publisher, record producer, teacher, critic, inventor, gardener, librettist, man of letters… Innova’s Philip Blackburn, who has previously put together seven other DVDs of visual and musical Partch memorabilia, says that in today’s world Partch would be probably be described as a multimedia, multi-cultural, queer, neo-Pagan, integrated outsider hybrid performance artist.

Now, here is Innova on Partch and these videos,

“In 1985 Philip Blackburn climbed the stairs to an attic in Iowa City and started trying to make sense of the boxes piled up there. They contained a composer�s life’s work: scrapbooks, tapes, photos, letters, scores, and film reels – fragile treasures documenting the Twentieth Century from a most unusual viewpoint; perhaps the world�s most original musician: Harry Partch.
The DVD, Innova #399 is available at $20

The idea was to publish them and reveal Harry to the world on his own terms. Not as the crabby, homeless, self-taught microtonal musical weirdo and instrument maker, but as that most American of all artists; a truly independent thinker. With Enclosure 8, the work of bringing them to public attention reaches its apotheosis.

The Enclosures series (named for the extras Partch wanted to add to his life-long letter to the world) started appearing in 1995 with a VHS video of four films made in collaboration with the Chicago-based film-maker Madeline Tourtelot. Four CDs, two years and one book later, Enclosure 4 appeared featuring his later films: Delusion of the Fury (his culminating ritual-theater work) and a San Diego Public TV documentary, also on VHS. Now the time has come for these to be issued on DVD, extensively restored, resynched and digitally remastered from the extant original prints. Until books and CDs become as obsolete as VHS, the Enclosures series is complete and, taken together with the Harry Partch Collection on New World Records, Partch�s entire work is available for the first time.

Innova’s DVD, Enclosure 8, offers not only a chance to see higher quality versions of previously-available material, but it also includes two performances made after Partch�s death in 1974: a 1981 staged production of his hitch-hiker piece, Barstow, directed by Danlee Mitchell; and a 2006 choreographed version of Castor & Pollux, performed by John Schneider’s ensemble Partch using replicas of Partch�s original set of instruments.

The DVD Innova #399 is available $20.

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