Harmonic Canon, built by Phillip Arnautoff

Harmonic Canon
Built by Phillip Arnautoff, 1975-78

I received correspondence from Phillip Arnautoff, along with a copy of a photo of the above Harmonic Canon. Phillip corresponded with Partch from 1961 to 1968, visiting him in Petaluma for informal lessons and several times in Southern California afterwards. Since that time he has been an on-again, off-again practitioner, though recently he has recorded the instrument. Of the Canon, he had the following to say:

"Though inspired aurally and visually by the Harmonic Canons of Harry Partch, the instrument ... has taken on a life all its own, perhaps by virtue of the manner of its tuning. It was conceived in 1975 and finally put together and strung in 1978. For some time afterwards, however, outside of a few half-hearted forays into tuning, it was to lead the unhappy life of some exotic and unexpected piece of furniture, a kind of tilted coffee-table thoughtfully provided with some sixty-odd cheese slicers. Finally conscience got the better of me and during the winter of 1982-83 I ventured its transformation into something at least resembling a musical instrument."

Phillip included a detailed description of the tuning setup and theory behind same. If any of you would care to write to Mr. Arnautoff regarding his Harmonic Canon, write me and I'll send you his address (surface mail).

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