It made me most happy to receive your letter today. I hold the job of a janitor for three apartment buildings in the Wayne State University area near downtown, and I don't have an official mail box like other tenants do. I discovered only today that there is a "miscellaneous" mail box where my mail is dropped. Your letter is the first bit of mail I have received at this address. A friend of mine was down visiting when he asked
"who is Harry Partch?", and I told him of you (as I do most people I meet) and showed him your albums and explained briefly your work. Then I asked "why do you ask?", and he told me of the letter awaiting me in the discreet little box, at which time I rushed up to get it!
The warmness of your letter overwhelmed me, because I suffer from that great illusion that "great geniuses" (of which I regard you) don't socialize with the common man, however I should have realized through the honesty and truth with which you have approached your work, that you would approach a fellow man in the same manner. You are a "genuine being"!
As for the records, if you haven't sent them upon receiving this letter, then please hold them. It has been a dream of mine to meet your, and as soon as it could be arranged, I will be at your door.
I was saddened to hear of your illness, and can only hope you are in no pain (which reminds me, if it is any discomfort to type letters for you, please don't feel responsible for replying to my letters, I shall continue to correspond with you out of friendship).
Detroit just received an estimated ten inches of snow, which puts the city in a state of "snow emergency", and the people are asked not to drive anywhere. I don't have a car, so it is on inconvenience to me at all. The only part I suffer from is that I must shovel all the snow!
I would like to tell you of my musical interest. At this time in life, age twenty, I have gotten completely confused on what to do! I didn't come from a musical background, and taught myself the drums, though I can't read music. I discovered your work about three years ago, when a friend, who loves you as I, heard an excerpt from an "Angel" demonstration
album. He next purchased "The World of H. P.", and then "Delusion", which is astounding! I listened to your music for the "organic beauty" and the (to me) new concept on which you built a vehicle for your creativity. I must admit, since I have trouble understanding the "twelve tone system", your system holds a quality of mystery for me, and I find myself saying "how could someone from this planet Earth conceive of such work?". I went to a vocational high school, and it didn't even have a band, they just tried to pound aircraft mechanics into my head, and I ended up dropping out, and getting my High School diploma in night school, and haven't been back to "formal education" anyway since. My Astrology chart indicates that I don't get on well with "institutionalized" training, and I'm going to have to learn things for myself.
I listen mostly to Jazz, and have been trying to develop good concentration for listening with Debussy, Ives, and Satie. I don't play drums much anymore, because I wanted to be very good, but never practiced. I guess I'm just a restless individual in the "Big City".
Well, this is my last piece of paper, so I'll bring it to a close until next time. One question, do you have to be an "accomplished musician" of today's standards to play (or I mean learn) your music?
Again, much love & peace to you,
my friend indeed,
P.S. If I can be of any help to you or Mr. Mitchell in any way possible, let me know, I would be there in a matter of days!!!