The Amsterdam Partch Project
by Scordatura Ensemble

Rose Petal Jam Tour May 13, 2017 until July 1, 2018

NEWS: Our Crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for a Diamond Marimba was a big success! Thanks to your generous gifts we will be able to build a Diamond Marimba. 

The Amsterdam Partch Project begins in 2001 with the concert tour The Truth of Tune, organised by Huib Ramaer and Bob Gilmore (writer of Harry Partch, a biography and until his death in 2015 artistic leader of Trio Scordatura). Having enjoyed the work on Partch all these years in close collaboration with Bob, Scordatura Ensemble is now ready to present ROSE PETAL JAM, a concert tour featuring Harry Partch’s earliest chamber music together with new compositions influenced by Partch.

Rose Petal Jam is more than  a concert tour; during the tour we develop new 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 music.  We also make connections with living composers, such as the New  Li Po Songs project and our education projects.


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 DE  Blurred Edges Festival Christianskirche. 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
08 to 13 March 18 Amsterdam (option) Marimba Festival
08.04.18 Assen De Muziekkamer, Podium Zuidhaege – 12.00
10.04.18 Tilburg De Link
09 to 13 April.18 Den Haag  Spring Festival
27, 28, 29 April.18 Rotterdam  OCW (to be confirmed) 

Education Projects 2017-18

19.10.17 University of Amsterdam  Scordatura Studio workshop & concert  for Musicology Students in collaboration with  Maarten Beirens
22.11.17 Amsterdam De Roode Bioscoop educatieve presentatie
Royal Conservatory  The Hague project  with composition class of Martijn Padding and Peter Adriaansz:
23.10.17  Rose Petal Jam evening concert Kees van Baarenzaal. With lecture by Huib Ramaer and Samuel Vriezen – first meeting with the students.
10.11.17  Scordatura studio A’dam: workshop with the students.  The composers write their pieces in the coming months.
09- 13.04.18 
Spring Festival  final concert with the new pieces.

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

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 for Rose Petal Jam:
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 Chris Rainier.
Adapted Guitar II* – existing guitar adapted by James Mumford in 2017 for Chris Rainier.
Tin Oboe* – Our version (the original instrument is unknown), for the piece Yankee Doodle, is made by Lucas van Helsdingen in 2017
Mazda Marimba* – built by 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. Still in the making!
Harmonic Canon* – still in the building process, by David Lavis

*=made for Rose Petal Jam  tour 1017-2018

We are using also a sound replica of the Chromelodeon on keyboard and a sampled bass marimba. (both prepared and programmed by Christian Smalt).


New Li Po Songs

Next to performing Partch’s original works we have a very special 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 compositions bear the seeds of his complete oeuvre. In our project ‘New Li Po songs’ are presented by eight composers from different backgrounds that feel connected with the Partch legacy: Anne LaBerge, Miranda Driessen, Lisa Illean, Anna Mikhailova, Kate Moore, Chris Rainier, Chris Smalt and Samuel Vriezen.

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

rehearsing New Li Po Songs at Studio Scordatura

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.


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