Harry Partch
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

  1. Harry Partch (10:30)
    Available on Harry Partch.
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
Harry Partch [Version (a)]:

I'm wandering, wandering
wither I go...

Quadrangularis Reversum Kithara
Zoomoozophone Zymo-xyl
Mazda Marimba Zoroastrian Z
Chromolodeon Cloud Chamber Bowl
a portmanteau of color and chrome
the curse of the crow
the nimbus is null

suitcase sky and you're marching down
your ticker tape and your old parade
your old grey jacket is hanging in threads
your grizzled brow squints in the sun

I've been running the rails so long
can't find my own nose on the ground
I'll go go go till I get gone
go go go till I get off

watch your back
and stack your hack
your mailman is punching back
your train goes click click clack

making up your orchestra out of the debris of the evening
fishing out from the gutter all your gold and grey graffiti

I crack the frozen ice
a 100 bells chime
a 1000 birds fall on a regiment of lies
chrome crack and rattle shadow
shake the bell tree
through rack and rain and ruin
wither I go

The sound becomes my body and my body is the sound
The sound becomes my body and my body is the sound
The sound becomes my body and my body is the sound

from chicago to barstow, o barstow

everybody needs a thirst for more
and a world war for an encore

21/3 X 21/4 = 21/3+1/4 = 23/12+4/12 = 27/12
The Song:

In 2009, Radiohead released a song called "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)." It was only sold online, and was about the last surviving British veteran of World War I.

Then in November, the dude from the Fiery Furnaces went on an anti-Radiohead rant, which included some attempt at being clever about how stupid it was they wrote a song about Harry Partch. Partch is an experimental composer and musician. He concluded his rant by saying "I'd make fun of Beck too, but I'm afraid of Scientologists." OK? Since the only good part about the Fiery Furnaces is this guy's sister, Eleanor, most people were like "wtf!" and shrugged it all off as a lame attempt at being provocative.

Except Beck, who promptly recorded a song in tribute to Partch and put it on his website. It's entirely insane (check those lyrics!) and is similar in a way to the "Brandon Nevins" jam.

Beck wrote about the track:

A thruway from the external to the internal, in tribute to California bred composer Harry Partch's concept of 'Corporeality'--- the integration of the body with all art forms. The song uses a 43 tone scale in reference to Partch's innovations with alternate tonalities. A peregrination across disparate territory to ascertain an unassumed frame of reference.

I do not know if this 10.5 minute track actually uses 43 tone scales or not. There are a few references to actual Partch biography, at least.

The opening lyrics reference a bunch of instruments Partch invented (he made his own instruments!): the Quadrangularis Reversum, Kitharas, Zoomoozophone, Zymo-xyl, Mazda Marimba, Zoraoastrian Z, the Chromelodeon (sic), and Cloud Chamber Bowls.

Later, Beck had Eleanor Friedberger sing on his Song Reader CD (she did "Old Shanghai").