|Harry Partch (like his friend Anais Nin) considered his life’s work to be a letter to the world. His last act was going to be to add the enclosures. He never got around to it. After 20 years of working on the Partch archives, Philip Blackburn has now completed the seven-part Enclosures series as it were on his behalf.
Enclosure 7, the culminating DVD of this multimedia series, is a monumental tribute to the most significant works of this American original and iconoclast. It includes new versions of his late masterworks and never-before-seen footage that bring us closer to the real Harry behind the myth.
The Dreamer That Remains is a documentary produced by Betty Freeman and directed by Stephen Pouliot in 1972. Here is the director’s original cut along with his commentary. If you’ve never seen Partch or his instruments before, this is the place to start.
Delusion of the Fury was his magnum opus; a lifetime of instrument-invention and ideas of ritual theater were poured into this giant work. The 1971 film has been resynched and the soundtrack remastered in 5.1 surround sound.
The CBS LPs of this work came with a Bonus Album of Harry introducing his instruments. Unavailable for years, this DVD features this talk along with a slideshow of the instruments.
Revelation in the Courthouse Park was Harry’s fusion of current pop idolatry with parallel (only a little more sinister) scenes of Ancient Greece. Now you can see excerpts of the original 1960 Illinois production, replete with gymnasts, fireworks, and transvestites.
And finally, if you ever wondered how a simple recipe for rose petal jam could turn into a hobo dance and a diatribe about music critics, you are in for a treat.
In short, with the reprinting of Blackburn’s award-winning bio-scrapbook, Enclosure 3, this series “is about as close to one man’s life as we are ever likely to get.”