“Ring Around The World: Phase One” by Harry Partch
Harry Partch was from Oakland, the child of Presbyterian missionaries who led him all around the world, and everywhere little Harry went he absorbed the local music like a sponge, and learned to play new musical instruments. As a young man came to hate “the tyranny of piano-based songwriting and the 12-tone scale,” and burned all his early compositions. He developed his own 43-tone scale, and like Moondog—another great outsider of American music—he invented his own instruments. Tom Waits started listening to Partch’s records in the early ’80s, not long after his wife Kathleen introduced him to the works of Captain Beefheart. This is just some of the raw material that went into Waits records like Rain Dogs.
Anyhow. Lately I’ve been listening to Harry Partch’s album Seventeen Lyrics Of Li Po, and it’s growing on me. I can’t promise you’ll like this music—it’s got Acquired Taste written all over it—but I can promise you haven’t heard anything like it before.
45andsingle likes this
This is beautiful, Doc! Has that carny mood all over it. An obvious influence on Tom’s music.
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