During Campus Musikfabrik, you had the opportunity to really get to know the Harry Partch’s instruments replicas. How did this first phase of the project affect the further development of the piece?
I deliberately came to the Campus without any precise ideas about what the piece might turn out to be, or which Partch instruments to use. Of course it is tempting to include all of them as the opportunity to write for these instruments doesn’t present itself often! But I allowed myself to be lead by the enthusiasm of the players and the Partch instruments whose sounds most interested me, which where the ones least similar to conventional instruments. So it was these few days in Cologne, immersed in the Partch sounds and talking with the players, that started the writing process of Walking with Partch.
What influenced you most during the composition? The instruments or their players?
Definitely the players… instruments are objects with sonic potential, but it is the touch of the performer that makes them resonate. So when I’m writing music I’m always thinking about that moment of friction between instrument and performer, that action which ultimately produces sound.
You purposely decided not to reproduce the typical “Partch sound” in “Walking With Partch – why?
Well, I’m not sure I could have made the Partch sound, it is quite unique and very different from my own sound world. But it was also important to me to show that these instruments are not one trick wonders, only useful for performing Partch’s own music, but can be treated like any other instrument.