Live at REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles on June 17, 2022.
Program note by Taylor Brook:
The title of this work refers to a fascinating chart in Harry Partch’s Genesis of a Music: “The One-footed Bride.” Resembling the outline of a foot, this chart marks out just intervals and their inversions along either side of a central axis. In this chart, one finds diatonic interval regions associated with expressive qualities; seconds and sevenths with “approach,” thirds and sixths with “emotion,” perfect fourths and fifths with “power,” and the tritone region with “suspense.” While highly subjective, there’s a certain intuitive sense to these pairings. Even more fascinating for me was how Partch fits his 43-note scale into a diatonic structure. What this suggests is that we might understand the many intervals of Partch’s scale as shadings within each region. This became the foundation of my piece, One-footed: an exploration of the expressive potential of thinking about pitch and interval in this way. The instrumentation for One-footed combines a string quartet with many of Partch’s famous instruments. As a composer writing in 2021 I enjoy the legacy of composers like Partch and Ben Johnston, where performers like the Del Sol Quartet now deeply understand just intonation, and I see the PARTCH ENSEMBLE as a whole new type of orchestra that can finally be bridged to as a result. One-footed was written for the combined forces of Del Sol Quartet and PARTCH Ensemble in 2020-2021.
This performance was made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
We also acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.