Harry Partch, Dean Drummond

Description: 
Former cohorts reunite
Composers: 
Harry Partch
Dean Drummond
Performers: 
Dean Drummond
Newband
Robert Osborne
Thomas Wolfe
Allison Sniffen
Ella Young
George Leite
Jesse Helms
Kenneth Starr
Lao-tze
Tsuryuki-Waley
Ungaretti
Willard Motley
Catalog Number: 
#561
Genre: 
experimental
new classical
Collection: 
Harry Partch
theater
spoken word
solo voice
microtonal
homemade instruments
Americana
gay
soundtrack
political
Location: 

Upper Nyack, NY

UPC: 
726708656126
Price: 
$15.00
Release Date: 
Jun 25, 2002
Liner Notes: 
View
Format: 
1 CD

Harry Partch, Dean Drummond

One Sheet: 

innova Recordings announces the release of a CD featuring works by former cohorts and microtonal pioneers, Harry Partch and Dean Drummond. This stunning new recording, engineered by Grammy-award winner Judith Sherman, is performed by members of Newband primarily on the original Partch collection of hand-made instruments, notable for their sculptural and acoustic beauty. The music integrates declaimed poetry (masterfully performed by Bob Osborne) with colorful instrumental accompaniment. The Drummond pieces are first recordings, the Partch are the first since the 1940s. 

Eleven Intrusions is a suite of eleven rather short pieces of mixed instrumentation composed from 1946 to 1950. A wide variety of techniques is utilized, from the incorporation of two ancient Greek scales and a Zuni (native American) song to Partch's typically microtonal speech-song settings of texts by a variety of poets. Dark Brother is a setting of the final paragraphs of Thomas Wolfe's God's Lonely Man. 

Before the Last Laugh originally developed as a "spinoff" from a much larger work, The Last Laugh. The latter work is a live soundtrack for the 1925 silent film of the same name. The materials used in Before the Last Laugh are all from the first parts of the film, specifically the hotel scenes, featuring fast-paced city life, much hustling and bustling mixed with a sense of somber doom - since for he/she who has the last laugh, things get worse before they get better. The satirical text of Congressional Record was excerpted by Drummond from four sections of the United States Congressional Record: a speech made by Senator Jesse Helms in favor of abolishing the National Endowment for the Arts, the actual Senate Bill to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, Kenneth Starr's Independent Counsel Report, and a speech introducing the Plumbing Standards Improvement Act of 1999.

Reviews: 

THE WIRE

Both the sounds and the microtonal scales are exotic, and Partch definitely has a place in the story of mid-Century Americana. He took on a massive task: to reinvent Western music, instruments, scales and all. Dean Drummond serves Partch's music well. His own writing has the same strong sense of colour and microtonal concerns. - Clive Bell