In 1953 Lou Harrison returned to the west coast and settled permanently in the coastal town of Aptos, California. There he isolated himself from the pressures of having a career in music and, instead, indulged in the pleasures of following his own artistic dreams. Inspired by the writings of Harry Partch, Harrison experimented freely with different tuning systems. The sounds of the hauntingly beautiful Indonesian gamelan led him to create, with his life-partner William Colvig, "An American Gamelan," a custom-built collection of tuned percussion instruments.
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