Harry Partch 1901-1973
Delusion of the Fury (1964)
Perhaps the most astonishing, seductive and compelling of Partch's works, Delusion stands as the Choral Symphony or Ring Cycle do to other composers: a culminating testament to a lifetime of "doing your own thing."
Like composer Conlon Nancarrow, Partch had to wait until late in life for his radical contributions to the arts to receive wide attention. With the 1969 production of Delusion he was "discovered", idolized, and gurufied, as a 43-tone-to-the-octave, ex-hobo, eccentric, maverick, iconoclastic instrument-builder, and a "philosophic music-man seduced into carpentry." Hippy hyperbole notwithstanding, Partch was a genuine far-out radical whose time has come. Again. "Sounds like this have rarely been heard before, at least not on this planet." Delusion of the Fury is a 72' totally-integrated, corporeal, microtonal, elemental work of ritual theater, incorporating almost all of Partch's hand-built orchestra of sculptural instruments. Using mime, dance, music, vocalizations, lighting, and costume, Partch presents two tales concerning reconciliation of life and death, one after a Japanese Noh drama, the other after an Ethiopian folk tale.