Taking Partch

Twenty-five years after experimental composer and instrument builder Harry Partch died, his music and ideas have found a living legacy in the Bay Area

That's a fitting legacy for Harry Partch, who didn't want people to follow in his footsteps so much as walk proudly in their own. "If anyone calls himself a pupil of mine," Partch once said, "I will happily strangle him. But this is simply the expression of an attitude, and -- amazingly -- in its deeper meaning it is an expression of hope."

Harry Partch, happy to strangle anybody who called himself his pupil, in Sausalito circa 1954.
Fred Lyon
Harry Partch, happy to strangle anybody who called himself his pupil, in Sausalito circa 1954.

Beth Custer's Vinculum Symphony will be performed Thursday, Sept. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday through Sunday, Sept. 3-5, at 8 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Tickets are $13-15 ($10 for the Sept. 2 performance). Newband presents "Harry Partch and His Legacy" Thursday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center; tickets are $13-15. Partch instruments will be on display Sept. 21-23, and experimental instruments curated by Custer will be on display throughout the "Sounds Like Art" festival from Aug. 28 to Nov. 7. Call 978-2700 for more information.

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