GLENN BRANCA

 

New and Upcoming 2014 - 2015

2014
January 28th and 29th. WINNIPEG, Canada. "Beyond Festival" curated by Matthew Patton. Three orchestral pieces by Glenn Branca to be performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Mickelthwate.
28th……."Symphony No. 14 (First Movement)"
29th……."Symphony No. 11" and "Freeform"

Performances of solo guitar pieces "Invisible Paintings":
February 7th. BOLOGNA, Italy. Freakout Club.
February 9th. PARIS, France. La Machine du Moulin Rouge.
February 13th. COPENHAGEN, Denmark. Planeten.
August 3rd. KATOWICE, Poland. "Off Festival"

World Premiere tour of ASCENSION THREE for the Glenn Branca Ensemble
Reg Bloor, Arad Evans, Eric Hubel, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Owen Weaver - Drums, Glenn Branca - Conductor
October 8, HAMBURG, Germany. Kampnagel.
October 9, STRASBOURG, France. Auditorium des Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg.
October 12, BERLIN, Germany. Volksbuhne.
October 14, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands. Melkweg.
October 17, TOURS, France. Le Temps Machine

 

November 18. Sydney, AUSTRALIA, "Fugue for a Temp Track" world premiere for Alaska Orchestra

New vinyl releases:
"Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus)" on ROIR.
"Lesson No. 1" on Superior Viaduct.
"The Ascension" on Superior Viaduct.

2015
February 20. PARIS, France, CITE DE LA MUSIQUE. World Premiere of "Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)"

"Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)" for 100 guitars, basses and drums written and conducted by Glenn Branca

1. Cognac And Cigarettes
2. Entanglement
3. Interpenetrating Harmony
4. Wild Sound
5. Seismic Waves

 

 

June 21. NYC, Winter Garden at World Financial Center. American premiere of ASCENSION THREE for the Glenn Branca Ensemble as part of the Bang on a Can Marathon.

American Premiere of ASCENSION THREE for the Glenn Branca Ensemble
Reg Bloor, Arad Evans, Eric Hubel, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Owen Weaver - Drums, Glenn Branca - Conductor

Ascension III

1. Velvets And Pearls
2. German Expressionism
3. Lesson No. 4
4. The Smoke (Guitar Concerto for Arad Evans)
5. Cold Thing (La Belle Dame sans Merci)
6. Twisting In Space

 

 

 

 

Atavistic Records album releases of "The Static (1978-79)" and "Symphony No. 4 (Physics) Live in Europe 1983".

 

 

contact information video of a live 1996 performance ensemble members and their music discography and sound bites
history and concert reviews     links    
       

Note: Originally this site was started as a fan site and most of the above links have not been updated since 2003.

BOOKING AND COMMISSIONS:
For concert bookings and commissions contact Glenn Branca directly at
glenn@glennbranca.com.
BRANCA IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENCIES.


"This music does somehow seem to take on the aspect of an event in nature or an act of God." (Richard Buell BOSTON GLOBE)

"Branca conducted with so much passion that his life could have depended on it. When science fiction writers describe the 'Music of the Future' one can imagine Branca's music -- shimmering and heavenly, and stark, physical and austere." (Lynden Barber MELODY MAKER)

"Just occasionally, new music comes as a real shock, a jolt to the system, a reminder that it is possible to go out to a concert and hear something really unexpected, really wild and dangerous. Alongside memories of Hendrix or watching the Sex Pistols there is now the Glenn Branca experience." (Robin Denselon THE GUARDIAN, London)

"There were sounds I'd never heard before, never imagined. The music itself seemed to combine raw sexual energy and massive sacred passions into a single irresistible force" (Mark Swed LA WEEKLY)

"Branca had me shaking." (John Cage CHICAGO SUN-TIMES)

"Branca makes a noise you've always imagined but never expected to hear." (Kristine McKenna L.A.TIMES)

"Glenn Branca may emerge as the most important new composer of our time." (Jim Gustafson DETROIT WEEKLY)

"The most intense music you'll ever hear in your life." Jim Fouratt

"He is an inspired American original" (Robert Palmer NEW YORK TIMES)

"The effects and texture Mr. Branca achieves are really remarkable, and the sound is unlike anything in music." (John Rockwell NEW YORK TIMES)

"Branca stretches his music further than is normally deemed acceptable or even possible in the world of rock, frequently reaching a plateau of sustained intensity rarely achieved outside of the spiritual or sexual encounter. If anyone else described their music as forcing you 'far back into the subconscious to find out what it is you are hearing' they might appear pretentious; when Branca makes this kind if statement it merely seems modest, inadequate." (Lynden Barber MELODY MAKER)

"Glenn Branca is a rock 'n roll renegade who has left the standard rock circuit behind to become a trailblazing new music iconoclast. Branca's music is absolutely hypnotic, building with an enormous cascading crescendo that seems nonstop and nonstoppable. It's absolutely riveting, completely devastating." (Rob Barker NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

"Branca's music calls to mind such works as Penderecki's "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima" and Luigi Non's "Como una ola de fuerza y luz". His music equals such works as these in the expression of contemporary passions. It is primal and cathartic, sexual yet dispassionate. In its effects on the listener it is a new expansion of musical awareness. Branca has a real and radical talent as a composer." (Louis K. Morra WKCR)

"Bells are ringing, Loudly, A celestial choir screams in epiphanic ecstasy. The music unrolls like a blistering juggernaut, spiked with scalding tempos and latticework of overtones and textures that conjure voices, horns, violins and cathedral chimes from thin air. Three hundred years earlier Branca would have been hanged for witchcraft." (Ted Drozdowshi MUSICIAN MAGAZINE)

"Branca's symphonies are more than just thunderous explosions of sound. He is interested in dissonant chordal structures that recall the sound-mass explorations of Ligeti and Penderecki. His primal, ritualistic power conjures up images of a berserk Varese. His symphonies have an orgiastic, ecstatic sense of climax - a primitivist power that surges forward in a brazenly romantic manner." (K. Robert Schwarz HORIZON MAGAZINE)

"I don't think I will ever be quite the same. I've never seen a performer like him. Branca may as well have put on a full scale production of WAR AND PEACE playing all of the characters by himself. That's about how much energy he put out. Or he could have climbed K-2. That's how high he took the audience." (Rebecca Moore EAR MAGAZINE)

"Visually and aurally enthralling, it was subtle, it was blatant, it was beautiful, and it is a complex, brilliant symphony." (Katherine Ludwig NEW YORK TALK)

"Glenn Branca's music burns through stylistic barriers like a blowtorch. The sounds generated by his electric guitar ensembles weld the manic energy of heavy metal onto the large forms and massed sonorities of the 20th-century orchestra, Branca is indeed creating new music." (Ted Greenwald KEYBOARD MAGAZINE)

"These unprecedented sounds are so complex that the music opens up into hallucination. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of this music, just as it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of the sun. It was more like witnessing an event in nature than attending a concert." (Cole Gagne OPTION MAGAZINE)

"Sculpting Mount Rushmore-sized sonic bedrock into epic symphonies, Glenn Branca's work consistently cuts through artsy gutlessness with the assurance of a Black and Decker circular saw. This is live art of the highest caliber, sacral, ragged and devastatingly honest in a scenario where honesty is the one brand name missing from the record racks, supermarkets and concert halls." (Mark Dery HIGH PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE)

"This megamusic is not just an aural assault but a cathartic conjunction of pleasure and pain intended to disrupt fixed ideas and emotions. It confuses the distinctions in intent and experience that are commonly used to characterize and classify art. It is at once visceral and cerebral, anarchistic and controlled, hellish and sublime. Branca's entire creative output has, in this way, a grasp of sanity and a touch of madness, a way of standing perfectly still and yet be throbbing all the while." (Carlo McCormick ARTFORUM)

"Glenn Branca's fire-breathing music is a turbulently successful mix of sonic pioneering and experimental melodics with rock-solid, butt-kicking guitar thrash. Branca was out front directing, breathing and lurching with the pulse, extracting some of the most incredible chord combinations ever known to the guitar." (Tristram Lozaw BOSTON ROCK)

"There is nobody making music today who even faintly resembles him." (Allan Ulrich SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER)

"Stunningly dramatic, hypnotically throbbing, thunderously erotic, sensuously mystical. Branca seemed to pull monster glissandos from his band with his bare hands." (Mark Swed LOS ANGELES HERALD EXAMINER)

"Glenn Branca is one of a dwindling number of reasons not to commit suicide. He makes explosive, challenging music that pushes back the borders of what contemporary music can be." (Steve Albini MATTER MAGAZINE)

"HIS FORTE IS MASSIVE SONIC GRANDEUR"
"Whether this is 'serious' or classical or rock or all three, Mr. Branca is the leader of the most vital new trend to transform downtown new music since the minimalists. The unprecedented aural density sets up new acoustic and artistic ramifications: ringing harmonics, directional counterpoint from different loudspeakers, the inherent theater of this new kind of guitar orchestra. In an important sense, Mr. Branca is presenting neither classical music nor instrumental rock but a new kind of live electronic music. He uses electric guitars, not as artifacts of rock but as electronic-music instruments bent to uses that have their roots in Futurism, Dada, Varese and the 60's sound-colorists as well as symphonic music, free jazz and heavy-metal rock. However one chooses to categorize this music, the fact remains that it is part of a movement and that if anyone can claim leadership of that movement, it is Mr. Branca." (John Rockwell NEW YORK TIMES)

"Branca is now frighteningly good, one of the best composers alive; the exuberance, intelligence, and newness of his music can make everything else around sound stale and tame. Rock and Roll shocked and transformed the pop music world when it emerged; when Branca's work surfaces, the new music community is in for an equivalent surprise." (Greg Sandow VILLAGE VOICE)

 

Works In Progress:

"False World, Good Night!" a symphony in seven movements for 100 violins and orchestral percussion, written and conducted by Glenn Branca.

1. I quit thee from my thought, My part is ended on thy stage.
2. My tender, first, and simple years Thou didst abuse and then betray.
3. In a soil hast planted me Where breathe the basest of thy fools.
4. Nothing is examined, weigh’d, But as ’tis rumour’d, so believed.
5. Every freedom is betray’d, And every goodness tax’d or grieved.
6. I will bear these with that scorn As shall not need thy false relief.
7. But make my strengths, such as they are, Here in my bosom, and at home.

Excerpts from the poem FAREWELL TO THE WORLD by Ben Jonson (published in 1616)

"Running Through the World Like an Open Razor" (autobiography)

"Symphony No. 14 (The Harmonic Series)" in five movements for full orchestra. The first movement of which has been completed and performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as commissioned.

"Crazy Opera" Full length opera with computer sampled orchestra, five major singing roles, small chorus and live chamber group. Libretto by Matthew Maguire based on his play "The Tower".

"Bounded In A Nuthouse" (a farce) Music Play for chamber ensemble.

"Still Waters and Crashing Waves" (solo orchestral percussion piece) for Sarah Mullins.

"Psychopathological Beast" music for primitive analogs of conventional instruments. (11 musicians).

"Metal" Symphony in four movements for various cymbals, gongs, bells and other metallic percussion (20 percussionists).

Studio recording of "Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" in four movements for 100 electric guitars, basses and drums.

The completion of these works is dependent upon funding which is either pending or waiting to be commissioned.

 

 

             
       

From left to right, guitars: Evelyne Buhler, Eric Hubel, Reg Bloor and Greg McMullen, conductor: Glenn Branca, drummer: Libby Fab, bass: Ryan Walsh (photo by Tony Cenicola)

 

Releases on SYSTEMS NEUTRALIZERS                  
                                       
GLENN BRANCA - THE ASCENSION: THE SEQUEL        
ascension cover art

 

 
   
CD AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
(CLICK COVER TO LINK)
   
                                   
THE PARANOID CRITICAL REVOLUTION - EUPHOBIA
       

 

 

         
                       
CD AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
(CLICK COVER TO LINK)
 
   
GLENN BRANCA -SYMPHONY NO. 7 (for orchestra) LIVE IN GRAZ

 

CD AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
(CLICK COVER TO LINK)
         
   


Some upcoming releases by Branca on Systems Neutralizers:

1. re-release of: "Symphony No. 9 (L'Eve Future)"
2. never released songs from late 70's no wave band: "THE STATIC"
3. early music: "Music from The Bastard Theater and The Dubious Music Ensemble"
4. "The Ascension: Three"
5. "Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City) for 100 guitars"
6. "Symphony No. 4 (Physics) live in Europe 1983
7. "Symphony No. 15 (Running Through The World Like An Open Razor)

PERFORMANCES OF "SYMPHONY NO. 13 (HALLUCINATION CITY)" for 100 guitars  
100 guitars montclair NJ    
Photo by Libby Fab                                  
     

 

1. NEW YORK CITY. Premiere of first version in one movement on June 13, 2001 at the former World Trade Center, as part of "Evening Stars" sponsored by The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
2. NEW JERSEY. Premiere of revised version in four movements on January 30, 2006 at The Kasser Theater as part of "Peak Performance" sponsored by Montclair St. University.
3. LOS ANGELES. March 29, 2006 at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of "Minimalist Jukebox" sponsored by The Los Angeles Philharmonic.
4. GHENT. October 5, 2006 at Vooruit as part of the "Festival of Flanders" sponsored by Champ d'Action
5. KORTRIJK. October 6, 2006 at Stadsschouwburg as part of the "Happy New Ears Festival" sponsored by Champ d'Action
6. DUBLIN. July 15, 2007 at Grand Canal Square as part of "Down At The Docklands" sponsored by The Dublin Docklands Development Authority.
7. LONDON. October 12, 2007 at The Roundhouse as part of "The Frieze Art Fair" sponsored by Frieze Magazine.
8. ROME. February 28, 2008 at Auditorium Parco Della Musica as part of "Contemporanea 2008" sponsored by Fondazione Musica Per Roma.
9. SEATTLE. May 16, 2008 at the Olympic Sculpture Park as part of the "Party in the Park" sponsored by the Seattle Art Museum.
10. ST. LOUIS. November 13, 2008 at The Pageant sponsored by The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as part of their Guitar Festival.

Originally commissioned by The Mission For The Year 2000, Paris.

 

Link to five articles by Glenn Branca on New York Times blog 2007-2009:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/author/glenn-branca/

Link to Glenn Branca Video Interview:
http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=4205

Link to short film interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEq57S094ro

 

 

Branca: List of Major Works

1972
"Club Limbo" - play written with Thomas Joseph (un-produced)
1973
"Scratching The Surface" - play
1975
"Anthropophagoi" - music theater piece written with John Rehberger for THE BASTARD THEATRE
"Percussion, Electronics And Mouth" - five electro-acoustic pieces for THE DUBIOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE
1976
"What Actually Happened" - music theater piece written with John Rehberger for THE BASTARD THEATRE
"Faspeedelaybop" - vocal tape piece
"Ballet Continuo" - theater piece (un-produced)
1977
"Shivering Tongue Fingers Air" - solo music theater piece (un-produced)
"Jill" - song with solo acoustic guitar
14 songs for band THEORETICAL GIRLS (1977 to 1979)
1978
"Cognitive Dissonance" - theater piece
16 songs for band THE STATIC (1978-1979)
"Inspirez Expirez" - extended instrumental for THE STATIC
1979
"Ernest Kitzler, 1964-1977" - solo gallery exhibition
"The Whole Field" - performance piece written with Barbara Ess
"(Instrumental) For Six Guitars" - for THE GLENN BRANCA ENSEMBLE
"The Spectacular Commodity" - dance score - THE GBE (originally performed by THE STATIC as "Fluttering Black")
"Dissonance" - THE GBE
"Lesson No. I (For Electric Guitar)" - THE GBE
1980
"(Instrumental) For Six Guitars" - expanded version in 3 parts - THE GBE
"The Ascension" - THE GBE
"Music for a film by Dan Graham" - tape piece for guitars
"Light Field" - THE GBE
1981
"Lesson No. 2" - THE GBE
"Diabolique" - one section is also the piece "Structure" - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus)" - in four movements - THE GBE
"Indeterminate Activity Of Resultant Masses" - THE GBE
1982
Harmonics Guitar - musical instrument
Music for "Bad Smells" - dance score - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 2 (The Peak Of The Sacred)" - in five movements - THE GBE
1983
"Symphony No. 3 (Gloria)" - in three movements - THE GBE
"Acoustic Phenomena" - music for performance collaboration w/Dan Graham - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 4 (Physics)" - in four movements - THE GBE
1984
"Symphony No. 5 (Describing Planes Of An Expanding Hypersphere)" - in seven movements - THE GBE
1985
"Classical Space (Forms Of Infinite Regress Within A Finite Field)" - solo gallery exhibition of 22 drawings derived from the harmonic series
1986
"Chords" - THE GBE
"Music for the Murabushi Company (Ascent)" - THE GBE
Music for "In Passions Tongue"- opera fragment for string orchestra and voices with libretto by Branca
"Hollywood Pentagon" - THE GBE
Music for "Edmond" - theater score for guitars and drums on tape - THE GBE
Music for "The Belly Of An Architect" - film score for string orchestra on tape, includes piece "Augustus"
1987
"Symphony No. 6 (Angel Choirs At The Gates Of Hell)" - in four movements - THE GBE
1988
Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs At The Gates Of Heaven) - revised, in five
movements - THE GBE
1989
Music for "The Tower" - theater score for orchestra on tape
Bestiariam - art installation score for chorus on tape
Symphony No. 7 (Graz) - in five movements for orchestra
1990
The World Upside Down - ballet score in seven movements for orchestra
Vacation Overture - for orchestra (unproduced)
1991
String Quartet No.1
Les Honneurs Du Pied - dance score in two movements for orchestra
1992
Symphony No. 8 (The Mystery) - in two movements - THE GBE
The Tower Opera - full length opera for orchestra and chorus w/ libretto by Matthew Maguire. (unproduced)
1993
Symphony No. 9 (L'Eve Future) - in one movement for orchestra and chorus
1994
Symphony No. 10 (The Mystery Pt. 2) - in two movements - THE GBE
1997
"Movement Within" - chamber ensemble piece for amplified Harmonic Series instrumentation
1998
"Symphony No. 11 (The Nether Lands)" - In one movement for orchestra and chorus
2000
"Symphony No. 12 (Tonal Sexus)" in one movement for guitars and drums - GBE
"Empty Blue" (collaboration with Regina Bloor, David Bowie and Tony Oursler for gallery installation)
2001
Music for "Portrait of Shunkin" - theater score for sampler orchestra on tape
"Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" in one movement for 80 guitars, 20 basses and drums
2002
Music for "The Mothman Prophecies" part of film score for 2 electric guitars
"In Perpetuity" - music for 30 guitars and basses with drums
2004
"Guitars d'Amour" - for 4 guitars and drums
2005
"Compositional Recreations" - for electro-acoustic chamber ensemble
2006
"Light Field" - revised version for string quartet
"Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" - rewritten version in four movements
"Lesson No. 3 (Tribute to Steve Reich)" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
2007
"House Of Leaves" - for electro-acoustic chamber ensemble
2008
"2,000,000,000 Light Years From Home" - First Movement for "Symphony No. 14 (The Harmonic Series)" for orchestra
"The Blood" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Lost Chords" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
2009
"The Tone Row That Ruled The World"- for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Carbon Monoxide" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Quadratonic"- for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
2010
"Symphony No. 15 (Running Through The World Like An Open Razor)" music for strange orchestra in seven movements - THE GBE
2012
"Thought" - for electro-acoustic chamber ensemble
2013
"Twisting In Space" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - GBE
"Invisible Paintings" - music for solo acoustic guitar and solo Harmonics Guitar
2014
"Velvets and Pearls" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"German Expressionism" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"Lesson No. 4" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"The Smoke (Guitar Concerto for Arad Evans)" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"Cold Thing (La Belle Dame sans Merci)" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"Fugue For A Temp Track" - for chamber ensemble - Alaska Orchestra
2015
"Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)" in five movements for 100 guitars and drums

ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY
Commercial Album Recordings in order of release (not including most compilations, DVD's or singles):

LESSON #1 - 99 Records, Acute Records
THE ASCENSION - 99 Records, Acute Records
MUSIC FOR THE DANCE 'BAD SMELLS'- GPS Records, Acute Records
SYMPHONY NO. 3 (GLORIA) - Neutral, Crepuscule, Atavistic
SYMPHONY NO. 1 (TONAL PLEXUS) - ROIR, Danceteria
THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT (soundtrack) - Crepuscule, Normal, Factory
SYMPHONY NO. 6 (DEVIL CHOIRS AT THE GATES OF HEAVEN) - Blast First, Restless,Danceteria, Atavistic
SYMPHONY NO. 2 (THE PEAK OF THE SACRED) - Atavistic
THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN - Crepuscule, Atavistic
THE MYSTERIES (SYMPHONIES NO. 8 + NO. 10) - Blast First, Atavistic
SYMPHONY NO. 9 (L'EVE FUTURE) - Point Music
SYMPHONY NO. 5 (DESCRIBING PLANES OF AN EXPANDING HYPERSPHERE) - Atavistic
SONGS (1977-1979) - Atavistic
INDETERMINATE ACTIVITY OF RESULTANT MASSES - Atavistic
THE ASCENSION: THE SEQUEL - Systems Neutralizers
SYMPHONY NO. 7 (GRAZ) - Systems Neutralizers

 

Note: Originally this site was started as a fan site and with the exception of the first page has not been updated since 2003.