An American Legacy
Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, and Terry Riley
58 minutes, color
Narrated by the composers
Consultant: Dennis Russell Davies.
American composers have long struggled again st the momentum of the Western European classical tradition and the prestige it has held in America's cultural life. "I did not want to have any stricture at all, I wanted to be completely free." So spoke Harry Partch, describing not only his own path, but also that of two other great American composers: Lou Harrison and Terry Riley. They were attracted to musical ideas and sounds outside of the surrounding classical mainstream. Together they offer a deeper understanding of what those alternatives are and how they have worked in American culture.