Click to view a larger image and read album contents
Plectra & Percussion Dances Oedipus Plectra & Percussion Dances Thirty Years of Lyric and Dramatic Music
The Wayward Plectra & Percussion Dances Odeipus The Bewitched
Revelation In The Courthouse Park Water! Water! U. S. Highball Quad World of HP

About Gate 5 Records

Harry Partch distributed these recordings as a means both to disseminate his music and produce funding for sustaining his activities. As he said on the back of the albums (which went for the princely sum of $6.50, no domestic mailing charges):

    "This price is not intended to compete with those in record shops. Each purchaser helps to ensure that the work of Harry Partch will continue. Gate 5 Records is an endeavor initiated and -- to date -- carried on by one person, with the generous help of many."

The name Gate 5 was not picked out of a hatful of the most unlikely names for application to a work place, ensemble, or record label, although there are probably worse ways. During the Second World War Sausalito -- on San Francisco Bay -- became the site of one of those feverishly built shipyards, and upon termination of the war the property went into private hands. The shipyard had five gates, and the sign: Gate 5, was still to be seen when Harry Partch moved his instruments into a building previously used by the Army at the entrance to it. After the war, a number of people took over converted ferries, barges, and houses on stilts in this area, which is known locally as Gate 5. There is also a Gate 5 bus stop.

Beyond the prosaic fact that Partch lived, wrote music, built instruments, organized and rehearsed ensembles, and manufactured records here, there is the more intriguing circumstance that Gate 5 carries an occult meaning in sundry ancient mythologies. In ancient pictographs the city, center of culture, has four pedestrian gates. These are tangible; they can be seen; physical entrances can be shown. But the city also has a fifth gate, which cannot be shown because it is not tangible, and can be entered only in a metaphysical way. This is the gate to illusion.