The Amsterdam Partch Project

scordutura amsterdam Mei 2017

Rose Petal Jam Tour- May 13 2017 – July 1 2018

ROSE PETAL JAM is a concert tour featuring Harry Partch’s earliest chamber music. It is also a research and education project and part of our ongoing process to develop Partch instruments and repertoire. With every new instrument and  every new work we deepen our knowledge of the Partch heritage and we are able to share more of his beautiful music.

We are interested to share this experience not only with listeners but also with composers of the new generation.  Harry Partch (1901-1974) developed his work completely on his own. For us nowadays his unique work offers us an example of ‘just intonation’, a tuning idea which in this 21st century attracts attention again, after a century of ‘tempered’ tuning. In Rose Petal Jam’s New Li Po Songs project eight composers from different international backgrounds wrote songs for us. As an education project, six young composers of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague composed works for us. 

Concerts Rose Petal Jam 2017/18:

13.05.17 Den Haag Festival Dag in de Branding – Korzo 15.00
15.05.17 Amsterdam Splendor –  20.00 pre-concert talk 19.00
18.05.17 Rotterdam Seriously Festival /Classical NEXT – De Doelen 13.00
07.06.17 Hamburg  Blurred Edges Festival Students presentation 19.00, concert +- 19.30
24.06.17 Zutphen Dat Bolwerck Kunstcentrum 20.15
21.07.17 s’ Graveland Wonderfeel Festival 17.00
15.10.17 Nijmegen Galerie Marzee   16.00
22.10.17 Amsterdam De Ruimte  15.00
23.10.17 Den Haag Royal Conservatory Kees van Baaren Zaal 20.00
10.03.18 Amsterdam  Amsterdam Marimba Weekend 20.15
08.04.18 Assen De Muziekkamer Podium Zuidhaege – 12.00
10.04.18 Tilburg De Link 20.30
11.04.18  Den Haag Korzo Spring Festival 19.30
27.04.18  Rotterdam  OCW crimmp concert
28.04.18  Rotterdam  OCW crimmp  concert
29.04.18  Rotterdam  OCW crimmp concert
18.06.18 London Café Oto Dalston

Education Projects Rose Petal jam 2017/18:

General: We presented JAM sessions – which meant that the audience could try out the instruments- after our concerts.
07.06.17 Hamburg organised their own student project about Partch, before our concert. The kids had made their own instruments and played a self made composition.
19.10.17 University of Amsterdam, Scordatura Studio workshop + mini concert for Musicology Students in collaboration with  Maarten Beirens
23.10.17 The Hague Royal Conservatory, Kees van Baaren zaal:  Start of the Partch Composers Project in collaboration with the Conservatory. First meeting with the students  – free concert for the composition class of Martijn Padding and Peter Adriaansz, as well as other students. With lecture by Huib Ramaer and Samuel Vriezen
09-11-2017  Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory Huib Ramaer gives presentation about Partch for musicology students of Saskia Tornquist
10.11.17 Amsterdam Scordatura Studio Young composers of The Hague Royal Conservatory and their coach Peter Adriaansz visit the instruments. The composers write their pieces in the coming months
22.11.17 AmsterdaDe Roode Bioscoop demonstration of the Partch tuning for Cor Bakker and friends
08 and 09.03.18 Amsterdam Scordatura Studio: The composers of The Hague come to present and discuss their pieces
10.03.18 Marimba Weekend Amsterdam, Workshop by Aart Strootman, the maker of the newly built Diamond Marimba, introduced by  Huib Ramaer. With (the very first) live performance on the instrument.
11.04.18 The Hague Korzo: Spring Festival  final concert with the new pieces of Robert Coleman, Vitali Karagkezidis, Darina Zurkova, Lauge Dideriksen, James Alexandropoulos-McEwan and Orestes Willemen.

Parallel to the Rose Petal Jam Tour our guitarist Chris Rainier presents the following solo Partch concerts:
09.06.17 – In Situ Art Society , BONN, GERMANY
08.06.17 – ON: Neue Musik Köln, COLOGNE, GERMANY
11.10.17 – La Générale, PARIS, FRANCE

Future Partch concerts after Rose Petal Jam tour:
 14.10.18  Amsterdam Oosterkerk – James Joyce Festival
18/19/20 .10.19  Leuven Belgium  -Festival20/21
Vrije Geluiden Television show – date to be seen

Chris Rainier voice Adapted Guitars I and II
Reinier van Houdt Chromelodeon/keyboard Bass Marimba
Lucas van Helsdingen, Tin hobo, reeds, Indian drum, clarinet
Lucia Mense Double flageolet, Tin flutes, recorders
Samuel Vriezen Kithara I, Flexatone, Mazda Marimba
Alfrun Schmid voice, Harmonic Canon, harp
Elisabeth Smalt viola, Adapted Viola, Diamond Marimba

Huib Ramaer introduction about Partch -on demand

Partch instruments

(* = made especially for Rose Petal Jam  tour 1017-2018)

Adapted Viola -viola from anonymus builder purchased at Palm Guitars, adapted by R. de Jongh in 2002 for Elisabeth Smalt and the Partch tour The Truth of Tune. With support of Harry Partch Foundation. More info here.
Kithara I -2011, built by William Lindhout for Scordatura, with support by Société Gavigniès, premièred in 2016 in City University, London (BobFest).
Adapted Guitar I – existing guitar adapted by James Mumford in 2013 for/with  Chris Rainier.
Adapted Guitar II* – existing guitar adapted by James Mumford in 2017 for/with Chris Rainier.
Adapted Guitar III* – existing guitar adapted by James Mumford in 2017 for/with Chris Rainier.
Tin Oboe and Tin Flute* – Our versions, for the piece Yankee Doodle, are made by Lucas van Helsdingen and Lucia Mense in 2017
Mazda Marimba* – by a team: Harm Mouw, Chris Smalt, Charles van Gelder, Elisabeth Smalt, Alfrun Schmid, Lucas van Helsdingen in 2017
Diamond Marimba* – by Aart Strootman, with thanks to all the backers of Kickstarter and private donations.
Harmonic Canon* –  by David Lavis


New Li Po Songs

Next to performing Partch’s original works we have a composer’s project called New Li Po Songs. With his Seventeen Lyrics by Li Po for Adapted Viola and Intoning Voice, written in the early 1930’s, Harry Partch developed his own unique voice. These wonderful compositions bear the seeds of his total oeuvre, such as the scale and notation. In our project we asked eight composers from different backgrounds to write for us ‘New Li Po songs’: Anne LaBerge, Miranda Driessen, Lisa Illean, Anna MikhailovaChris Rainier, Chris Smalt, Aart Strootman and Samuel Vriezen.

Have a look at a preview of the New Li Po Songs.

rehearsing New Li Po Songs at Studio Scordatura

History The Amsterdam Partch Project begins in 2001 with the concert tour The Truth of Tune, initiated by Huib Ramaer and developed by Bob Gilmore (1961-2015) who was the founder and artistic leader of Trio Scordatura. (In 2015 we changed the name to Scordatura Ensemble) Having enjoyed the work on Partch all these years in close collaboration with Bob – he was a musicologist and the writer of Harry Partch, a biography – Scordatura Ensemble is now ready to present ROSE PETAL JAM.

Extra Jam After the concert we offer a meet-and-greet with our Partch instruments and with the players. In addition we will bring a supply of biological rose petal jam (following Partch’s own recipe), made and presented by Harm Mouw of  Harm’s Kitchen!

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 15.41.24

Rose Petal Jam is mogelijk gemaakt door de steun van  Fonds Podiumkunsten, Fonds 21, Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds- Fonds voor Hedendaagse Muziek, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Société Gaviniès, VSB Fonds, Gilles Hondius Foundation, Stichting Fonds voor de Geld- en Effectenhandel,  Kattendijke/Drucker Stichting

Daarnaast willen wij de privédonateurs die ons steunden via Kickstarter of andere kanalen van harte bedanken.


fpk_logo-web-m   Print   screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-15-31-42   screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-15-42-26   VSBfonds PAY-OFF CMYK Prins-Bernhard-Cultuurfonds_RGB_logo-800x846px       screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-17-11-45          Fonds 21.Logo


Our Crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for a Diamond Marimba was a big success! Thanks to your generous gifts we have a Diamond Marimba, built by Aart Strootman.


Follow Scordatura Ensemble:facebook-successful-in-raising-over-10-million-in-two-days-towards-nepal-earthquake-disaster   vogel  @scordaturaense1

Amsterdam-based ensemble performing music using new tuning systems and microtonality