John Schneider, of Partch, playing the Bass Marimba.
Ever heard of an adapted viola? What about a chromalodeon? Or a harmonic canon? They're all instruments invented by avante-garde composer Harry Partch. Partch was a California native who threw out traditional keys and patterns in favor of strange and complex 43+ note microtonal scales. Off-Ramp's Kevin Ferguson headed to a rehearsal studio on Mount Washington to talk to John Schneider, a music professor and a member of Partch, a musical tribute to the late composer. Click through to see a video of John Schneider performing Harry Partch's "The Letter" on the harmonic canon!
Partch—the band—will be performing at Disney's REDCAT in Downtown LA on Wednesday, June 2 and again Thursday, June 3.
More photos of Partch's bizarre instruments: