Anthony Braxton on Harry Partch

Anthony Braxton in “Forces in Motion”:

“Harry Partch has profoundly affected me, but I’ve not been able to demonstrate what I’ve learned from this man. For instance, I’ve always wanted to put out my own records, like Mr. Partch did, but I’ve never had the money. His book would also be very inspirational, and my move to build instruments would come from Mr. Partch’s example. I think he’s a great composer too; he’s so underrated in this period it’s a damned shame. It’s an indictment of America that there’s no understanding of, or respect for, this man’s music.

The fact that he would look back to the ancients to understand better what music is, and then build a system based on the fundamentals — this is what connects me to Harry Partch because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. And if I’m allowed to do my work in the future that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do: go to the ancients and to the scientists to understand better the route of a given information line and the transformational potential of music. Harry Partch short-circuited the whole post-Webern continuum and established a whole other area for investigation. The dynamic implications of his music, as well as its actual beauty, affected me and helped me develop the mind-set to begin looking at my own evolution.”

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