Lausanne underground film & music festival
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Rip on/off – Harry Partch

Thursday, 15 October, 18:30, Cinématographe

Official release of the Editions Rip on/off’s new book

Harry Partch. Au bout du littoral.

followed by the film

The Dreamer That Remains (28 min.,1972)


The release of this book is possible thanks to the Master CAP, Hochschule der Künste Bern


Official website


To attend Rip on/off vernissage

It is necessary to register via this form.

A ticket will then be issued to you at the accreditation office, located in front of the blue lounge, inside the Casino de Montbenon. From 1 pm, Thursday 15 October.

For the past 13 years, the Lausanne-based Rip on/off team has been publishing translations of texts by sound artists. This year, the team has decided to translate texts written by a vagabond figure of American music: Harry Partch (1901-1974). Self-taught, discredited by the New York avant-garde and forgotten in the history of experimental music (could those two be related?), he swam outside the mainstream with anger and joy. Rocked, as a child, to the sounds of Hebrew songs, Chinese theatre and Yakuza rituals, and later wandering across California on foot, he didn’t find in conventional instruments the means to express the complexity of the sounds from the outside, nor all the variations of language inflections. He built his own instruments, created his own system of musical notation in 43 tones per octave, and used, for instance, speeches of San Francisco hobos as a basis for his compositions. Always alone, he had a considerable influence among explorers of microtonality (Tenney, Ligeti) and inspired the creation of a community around him (sound ecologist and artist David Dunn is one of his followers). The book we will present here is a collection of rambling tales and music reviews from the 1940s. We will also be showing The Dreamer That Remains, a film made at the time by relatives and Partch himself. By no means a classic documentary, this trip is, according to Philip Blackburn, one of the best ways to enter (or exit from!) Partch’s universe.