Microtonal Chamber Ensemble
“weird and wonderful sonorities, truly unlike anything else on Earth or any neighboring celestial body…” – LA Weekly
GRAMMY- winning percussion ensemble PARTCH specializes in the music and instruments of the iconoclastic American Maverick composer Harry Partch who, between 1930 and 1972, created one of the most amazing bodies of sensually alluring and emotionally powerful music of the 20th century. Partch wrote music dramas, dance theater, multi-media extravaganzas, vocal music and chamber music—all to be performed on the extraordinary orchestra of instruments that he designed and built himself.
Since their formation as Just Strings in 1991 to perform the music of Lou Harrison and Harry Partch, the group has gone on to commission and premiere works by Larry Polansky, Mamoru Fujieda, John Luther Adams, Mari Takano, Sasha Bogdonawitsch, Victoria Bond and others. In 1995 they toured Japan under the auspices of the American Embassy’s prestigious Interlink Festival, giving three weeks of concerts and lectures on new music. In 2005, with the completion of their twelfth Partch instrument, the group began performing under the name PARTCH.
They have performed for Chamber Music in Historic Sites, the LA County Museum of Art, Grand Performances, UCLA’s Partch Centennial Celebration, Sacramento’s Festival of New American Music, Minnesota Public Radio’s American Mavericks, the Songlines series at Mills College, Feria Internacional Del Libro de Guadalajara, and the Gordon Getty Concerts at the Getty Center. In 2004, the ensemble made their REDCAT/Disney Hall debut premiering Harry Partch’s Bitter Music, and has returned every year since. Their CD, Just West Coast, was CD Review’s “CD of the Year” in 1994 and inducted into Fanfare’s “Classical Hall of Fame” (2003). Their recording of Sasha Matson’s “The 5th Lake” was released by New Albion Records, while their latest “Just Guitars” (2003) appears on Bridge Records. PARTCH is the resident ensemble of MicroFest, Los Angeles’ yearly festival of microtonal music.