Harry Partch Mini-Festival at University of Illinois and new songs: “Nightpartches”

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(Dr. Charles Corey, Ralph Lewis (holding Partch’s Adapted Guitar I), Luke Fitzpatrick, Dr. Kerrith Livengood. Photo credit Julia Sullivan)

What a wonderful weekend! The three day Harry Partch Mini-Festival was an exhilarating series of guest lectures, performances, and workshops that I’m so thankful to have been part of.

Last year, Dr. Kerrith Livengood envisioned bringing Dr. Charles Corey and Luke Fitzpatrick to University of Illinois with Harry Partch’s instruments in tow to perform Partch’s music and create new music with UIUC composers. Dr. Corey is the person in charge of the Partch Instrumentarium at University of Washington as well as a composer and Luke Fitzpatrick is a longtime member of that university’s Partch Ensemble, as well as a composer, violinist, and improvisor.

As she built the festival, she reached out to Group for New Music, a student club at University of Illinois I’m part of. In working with G4NM president Elizabeth Gartman and her, I facilitated an instrument building workshop at Urbana’s Independent Media Center. In addition to Dr. Corey and Luke showing off the Partch instruments, we built udderbots, and local inventor/musician Skot Weidmann shared his Hyve synthesizer.

Dr. Livengood also facilitated the opportunity to write for these deeply-committed Partch interpreters on Partch’s singularly designed instruments. My contribution, in the playlist is two songs for adapted viola and intoned voice. I have a few more in mind, but they will have to wait until I am done with more of my dissertation. I hope you like these songs. I would love to know what you think about them. Drop me a message!

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