The Wayward & Creation
Harry Partch, The Wayward (1941/1943), in a new realisation by Tim Mariën
The Wayward: 1. U.S. Highball, 2. San Francisco, 3. The Letter, 4. Barstow. Eight Hitchhiker Inscriptions
Wanderings around America during the Great Depression
The music of Harry Partch’s (1901-1974) is reminiscent of experimental blues, the spoken word or the classical monodrama. Specially for Ictus, Tim Mariën has now reworked The Wayward, a series of songs that resulted from Partch’s wanderings around America during the Great Depression. In the same spirit, the concert also includes the first performance of a new work by Tim Mariën.
Harry Partch, like his predecessor Charles Ives, put American musical history into a new perspective. He grew up at the start of the twentieth century in small villages between Arizona and New Mexico amongst Presbyterian missionaries, Chinese immigrants and local Indian tribes and witnessed the decline of the ‘Old West’. The seeds of his wandering existence, his uninhibited thinking and the development of his musical theory and the bizarre range of instruments that emerged from it were sown in that cultural melting pot.
‘Just Intonation’ and ‘Corporeality’ are two concepts that are inseparably linked in Partch’s music: a refined micro-tonal harmony is turned into sound in a physical, original and natural way that lies between speech and song and between playing and moving with the instrument.
His music cannot be categorised and is rarely heard in Europe. Specially for Ictus, Tim Mariën has now reworked The Wayward, a series of songs that resulted from Partch’s wanderings around America during the Great Depression. It is an entirely new production for voice and ‘transformed instruments’ including a 12-string folk guitar, banjo, zither, Chicago reed organ, microtonal piano, trombone, tuba and percussion.
Listen to a historical recording with Harry Partch himself
or a fragment of a recent concert by Ictus with Kris Dane at the Lille opera house.
by Michael Schmid (voice, flute), Tom Pauwels (guitar, zither, banjo), Daniel Ploeger (trombone), Gerrit Nulens (microtonal marimba*, percussion), Jean-Luc Plouvier (microtonal piano, microtonal reed organ), Tom Bruwier (light), Alexandre Fostier (sound), Diane Weller (vocal coach) & Eric Verberdt (technical direction)
*thanks to Adam’s Percussion