Seattle Photographer Daniel Berman | Seattle editorial photographer | (206) 387-3767 daniel@bermanphotos.com

Harry Partch instruments for KUOW | Seattle editorial photographer

It’s not every day that you get to see and hear a piece of history. Make that pieces. I got an assignment last week from KUOW to photograph Charles Corey, the 30-year-old caretaker of the Harry Partch instruments collection at the University of Washington School of Music. In a fun story by Marcie Sillman you can actually hear the renowned, intricate instruments. Partch created the instruments between the 1940s and 1970s, and they are based on the Just Intonation scale, not anything like what we are used to hearing from traditional instruments. You can find some really intense theatrical productions of Partch’s arrangements on Youtube too that help put his life’s work in context. He wasn’t just a composer and musician, he was also a playwright and auteur.

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates the Adapted Viola. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates the Adapted Viola. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates the Chromelodeon, created in 1941. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates the Chromelodeon, created in 1941. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. A view of the Cloud Chamber Bowls, created in 1950. The bowls are the sawed-off bottoms of large glass bottles made by Pyrex, and produce different tons when tapped on the top or bottom or scraped along the side. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. A view of the Cloud Chamber Bowls, created in 1950. The bowls are the sawed-off bottoms of large glass bottles made by Pyrex, and produce different tons when tapped on the top or bottom or scraped along the side. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates Bass Marimba, which requires standing on a large bench to reach playing height. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates Bass Marimba, which requires standing on a large bench to reach playing height. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates the Kithara II, created in 1954 by Partch. Glass tubes are moved up and down on the sides to create varying pressure and different tonality. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. Corey demonstrates the Kithara II, created in 1954 by Partch. Glass tubes are moved up and down on the sides to create varying pressure and different tonality. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. "I've been doing this almost 13 years now," Corey said. The instruments were created between the 1940s and 1960s by the American composer Partch. The instruments are renowned for their complex and unique sound structure abilities based on the Just Intonation scale, which was designed to more naturally imitate human voice pitch. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

Chuck Corey, 30, is a faculty research associate in the University of Washington School of Music where he curates the Harry Partch instruments collection. “I’ve been doing this almost 13 years now,” Corey said. The instruments were created between the 1940s and 1960s by the American composer Partch. The instruments are renowned for their complex and unique sound structure abilities based on the Just Intonation scale, which was designed to more naturally imitate human voice pitch. Photo by Daniel Berman for KUOW

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