Harry Partch (1901–1974), while one of America's best-known maverick composers, is also one of the least performed—mainly due to the one-of-a-kind instruments he created in order to generate the sounds his music demanded. The instruments themselves are difficult to transport, and they require performers with specialized knowledge of how Partch intended them to be used.
This week during a symposium and festival, co-hosted by New England Conservatory and Northeastern University, many of Partch's instruments will travel from New Jersey to NEC's Jordan Hall, with the help of their custodian, Dean Drummond. Visitors will be able to examine them and hear them used in concert. Scholars will gather to explore the continuing impact of Partch’s work, with a combination of academic conference sessions, interactive workshops, and concert performances housed at both NEC and Northeastern.
This afternoon, composer Georg Hajdu leads a workshop in notation in Just Intonation with MaxScore, a notation environment programmed by Nick Didkovsky. MaxScore provides standard Western music notation in Max/MSP and Ableton Live via Max for Live. MaxScore is a Max object which accepts messages that can create a musical score, add notes to it, transform the notes, perform, save, and load the score, and export the score to popular formats (such as Finale and Sibelius) for professional publishable results. More than a notation tool, MaxScore is an interactive performance object. It can play back a score and drive MSP patches through an instrument interface. Scores can be created and modified in real-time. Users can add notes explicitly by specifying durations and pitches, or use Max to generate an arbitrary stream of musical events and use MaxScore’s Transcriber to notate them automatically.
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