Sousa Archives’ New Harry Partch Exhibit Opens Today

Harry Partch seated at the Koto, c. 1966 (top left) and with his Monophone, c. 1933 (top right). Portrait of Harry Partch at an unidentified location, c. 1960 (bottom left) and Partch standing at his front door in Encinitas, California, 1972 (bottom right)

The Sousa Archives’ new exhibit, “Transient Journeys: The Life and Music of Harry Partch,” explores through photographs, music, and words the exceptional life of Harry Partch.  Partch was one of America’s most recognized experimental composers, music theorists, instrument makers, and performers of the twentieth century.  Alex Ross wrote in 2005, “Of all the triumphantly weird characters who have roamed the frontiers of American art, none ever went quite as far out as the composer Harry Partch.”  Partch’s maverick tendencies and his rejection of traditional Western European performance practices inspired his experimental music creations which often integrated ancient Greek, African, and Japanese theatrical arts with innovative uses of human speech and musical pitch, harmony and rhythm.  This exhibit is the first of several new shows planned for the coming year that will document some of the musicians, dancers, writers, and  photographers who called the Champaign-Urbana community their home.  The exhibit is open to the public between 8:30 and 5:00 Monday-Friday, and special guided tours of the Center’s collections and exhibits can be scheduled over the weekend by calling 217-333-4577 during week day hours.


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