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Cloud Chamber Bowls (1950-1951) - Harry Partch


The cloud chamber bowls themselves are sections of 12-gallon Pyrex carboys, suspended from a redwood frame on ropes. These difficult-to-find and impossible-to-tune glass gongs are played very carefully by a percussionist who risks the anguish of splintered disaster. The original bowls were found at the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, and had been used as cloud-chambers to trace the paths of sub-atomic particles.

Composer Harry Partch demonstrates his Cloud Chamber Bowls in the 1958 documentary Music Studio below:

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