The projections behind the performers were often engaging as well. As Schneider accompanied himself on adapted viola for By The Rivers of Babylon, Partch's unique notation for that early arrangement was displayed (the viola part written as a series of ratios). It's a simple image, but an exciting one because it is so rare. Partch's While My Heart Keeps Beating Time was given the same treatment, and it was subtly hilarious to see his credit as "Paul Pirate." Schneider's sung/spoken delivery added a narrative poignancy to the piece, supported by Valitutto's elegiac piano playing.
The performance concluded with two postludes: an audio recording of Partch reminiscing about his attempted destruction of Bitter Music, followed by a performance of a rare re-orchestration of Barstow: Eight Hitchhiker Inscriptions from a Highway Railing at Barstow, California. Though slightly re-orchestrated, it is a piece as well worn as the Barstow Freeway, and the ensemble travelled it well.
Though I have poured through his Genesis of a Music, I must admit I have not read Bitter Music. My familiarity with it comes through the Extracts from Bitter Music recordings on Innova Records' Enclosures 2. I found myself favoring Schneider's radio friendly voice (you can hear him Thursdays on KPFK's Global Village) to that recording, and am curious to check out his recently released recording of the piece on Bridge Records.