Harry Partch: I Was A Bum Once Myself
Rare Photographs from the Life of the American Composer
OmniCircus -- San Francisco, CA -- September 22-25, 1999

What follows are a few pages (in facsimile) of the guide book produced to accompany the show. Each photograph in the show had a separate page entry, with a thumbnail image and a short essay on the historical or anecdotal information surrounding each photo; I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rita Hoffman, our Art Director, who both designed and produced this guide. One of the difficulties in preparing the show on short notice for a highly unusual space was that we were not completely sure ahead of time which photos would be hung, and in what order. Therefore, the guide book was produced in loose-leaf style, and assembled when the show was fully hung (gads, I have to believe Harry would have loved that phrase...).

It was my intention, as much and as often as possible, to let Partch's own words speak for himself. Of course, with Harry Partch there is not a lack for both written and spoken discourse, both concerning his work and other's (and great thanks to both Philip Blackburn and Bob Gilmore for getting most of it down, finally). What is astonishing, when looked at carefully, is just how well Partch speaks to his own aesthetic over a very long period of time; when viewing photographs that covered nearly 40 years, the words of the young artist resonate with the last portraits.

If we see that there is sufficient interest, there is a possibility of making a limited number of guide books available in the future. In the meantime, enjoy this small look at what people carried around with them as they studied a life in pictures.

Jonathan Szanto

Continue to the Guidebook