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Glenn Branca


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Harrisburg PA, United States (1948 – present)

Glenn Branca (born October 6, 1948 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an composer and guitarist.

Branca studied theater at Emerson College in Boston in the early 1970s. While there, he began experimenting with sound as the founder of an experimental theater group called Bastard Theater. He moved to New York in 1976. His first encounter with the NYC music scene was with the N.DoDo Band whom he observed many times at their rehearsal space- Phil Demise’s Gegenschein Vaudeville Placenter. This is where he first met jeffrey lohn who was playing electric violin with the N. Dodo Band. He then formed two bands in the late 1970s, first Theoretical Girls (in 1977 with composer/guitarist Jeffrey Lohn) and later The Static. He also performed in Rhys Chatham & His Guitar Trio All-Stars in 1977, an experience that was very important in the development of his compositional voice (Branca 1979).

In the early 1980s, he composed several medium-length compositions for electric guitar ensembles, including The Ascension (1981) and Indeterminate Activity Of Resultant Masses (1981). He soon thereafter began composing symphonies for orchestras of electric guitars and percussion, which blended droning industrial cacophony and microtonality with quasi-mysticism and advanced mathematics. Starting with Symphony No. 3 (Gloria) (1983), he began to systematically compose for the harmonic series, which he considered to be the structure underlying not only all music but most human endeavors.


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  • vals81

    Here pics and impressions of the Berlin concert:

    15 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Fariz_ANP

    gr8 meme

    28 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Rustain

    i don't know why but he always reminds me of Wittgenstein.

    11 Sep 2014 Reply
  • dragonkeeper06

    reaaal good

    2 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Zephral

    gr8 guy

    13 Jun 2014 Reply
  • traytray89

    this guy is BIG

    21 Feb 2014 Reply
  • El_Grml

    cool stuff.

    10 Nov 2013 Reply
  • lkuann

    he's playing in poland next month

    14 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Radioheadhead15

    Incredible composer. Lesson No. 1, The Ascension, and the first two symphonies are definitely essentials.

    28 Feb 2013 Reply
  • jorgefuzzo

    yeah, he plays guitar

    25 Dec 2012 Reply
  • FakePlasticDick

    so he plays guitar while he plays guitar

    14 Nov 2012 Reply
  • bloodmaw

    uh, don't be shit talking Dissonance. that's my favorite track.

    12 Aug 2012 Reply
  • bulletaurbulle

    Heres the list of works I recommend: Symphony No. 3 (Gloria), Symphony No. 5 (Describing Planes of an Expanding Hypersphere), The Ascension and Lesson No. 1 (The second composition is quite messed up, but the self titled track and Bad Smells are devastating! The latter is what made me look deeper into Glenn Branca's work)

    12 Aug 2012 Reply
  • gui1995

    send a Message pleaseee

    23 Jul 2012 Reply
  • gui1995

    anyone have links to the symphonies 1 and 2? please

    23 Jul 2012 Reply
  • ModestFloyd

    Funny enough, I just picked up symphony no. 1 a few hours ago. I also listened to symphony 2, which might be my favorite Branca thing yet.

    16 May 2012 Reply
  • Inuzini

    symphony no 1 (tonal plexus), symphony no 3 (gloria)

    13 May 2012 Reply
  • ModestFloyd

    I went and picked up Symphonies 8 and 10 the other day - fantastic as well. This is the kind of music I've been needing lately.

    30 Apr 2012 Reply
  • ModestFloyd

    So hey, alright, I need some help on where to go next with Glenn Branca. I've listened to Lesson No. 1 and The Ascension, and I prefer Lesson No. 1. I also listened to a bootleg of his symphony #13, which I liked, but wished there was a good recording of it. Any suggestions on which way to go next?

    28 Apr 2012 Reply
  • jazzthieve

    Sane96, you've listened to only five Glenn Branca songs, each only once, you're a sixteen year old kid and you have a pretty limited variety in your choice of music. So I would not come here and preach about "song stucture" (whatever that supposed to mean, perhaps you mean time signature, which would be 4/4 for most 'radio music' but for Glenn Branca that certainly is not the case). So please just shut up before you embarass yourself some more with your 'pseudo-knowledge' of music.

    27 Apr 2012 Reply
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