HARRY PARTCH: PITCH 43_TUNING THE COSMOS
Silbersaal im SZentrum, Andreas-Hofer- Straße 10, Schwaz
Introduction: Matthias Osterwold, Artistic Director of KLANGSPUREN,
in conversation with Klaus Lang and Thomas Oesterdiekhoff (Ensemble Musikfabrik)
Harry Partch And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma
Simon Steen-Andersen Korpus
Klaus Lang frenhofer‘s foot. WP
Clement Power conductor
Harry Partch (1901-1974), the pioneer of the north American just intonation movement, composer, theoretician, visionary and instrument builder, developed a highly complex tuning system which divided the octave into 43 unequal intervals. The large numbers of microtonal intervals made it impossible for his music to be played on conventional instruments. For this reason, over the course of his life Partch designed and built a comprehensive instrumentarium of unconventional exotic beauty. In 2012, at the initiative of the Ensemble Musikfabrik, the entire collection of instruments, of which only one original existed in the USA, was reconstructed: 40 instrumental sculptures – strings, percussion, bell and harmonium instruments as well as small hand-held instruments were rebuilt. This provided the possibility of performing Partch’s music live in Europe.
However, the Ensemble Musikfabrik was not satisfied with performing Partch’s original music. The project pitch 43_tuning the cosmos allows young composers to write works for Partch’s instruments, so that gradually a fresh repertoire may be created, possibly in combination with traditional instruments or accompanied by electronic sound processing.
During KLANGSPUREN 2015, the world premiere of a KLANGSPUREN-commissioned work by Klaus Lang may be heard, along with a performance of And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma
– a late work by Partch using all the instruments in changing combinations. Lang’s 35-minute work is not content with the simple continuation of the harmonics typical for Partch. These are “displayed” in three large “sound showcases” between which Lang has placed transitions performed on traditional European instruments. The meaning of the strange title frenhofer’s foot (Frenhofer is a painter in a short story by Balzac) remains to be seen in the premiere. Between Partch’s original work and that by Klaus Lang, the short piece Korpus by Simon Steen-Andersen for 7 to 8 players on three Partch instruments functions as an agile intermezzo. Steen-Andersen is the successful leader of humoristic musical deconstructivists or obstructivists among the younger generation.
With support of Kunststiftung NRWRadio broadcast: Ö1, Zeit-Ton, Mon, 05.10., 23.03 pm