Harry Partch’s Zymo-Xyl

Harry Partch’s Zymo-Xyl

We’ve posted before about “hobo composer” Harry Partch. (Specifically, about his composition ‘Barstow’ inspired by hitchhiker graffiti he found on the outskirts of Barstow, CA).

Another of his oddities was his zymo xyl — a musical instrument he made out of 17 upside-down liquor bottles, 14 oak blocks, hubcaps from 1952 and ’52 Fords, and an aluminum kettle top. It was said to sound a bit like a xylophone. He specified that the liquor bottles should include two Old Heaven Hill bourbon bottles, two Gordon’s gin, and two Barclay’s whiskeys.

You can hear him play the zymo xyl at the end of the clip below.

Los Angeles Times – June 30, 1996

image source: wiktionary

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