What Tom Waits Sounds Like in his Dreams

Harry Partch and his hobo brethren are alive and well and living in the bodies of Michael Schmid, Jean-Luc Plouvier and their erstwhile Ictus Ensemble colleagues. The materiality of Partch’s work — in the vibratory and pulsing 43-note Just Intonation tuning cycles just as it is in the focus on vernacular mythologies — is its strongest feature, and the show was deliberate, I think, in bringing this element to the fore. Kudos to Ictus and to the composer Tim Mariën for attempting such a venture, and for pulling it off with such panache.

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