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Symphony No. 3 (Gloria) Atavistic ALP08


Glenn Branca

Artist(s): Amanda Linn, Arleen Schloss, Barbara Ess, Craig Bromberg, Dan
Witz, Greg Letson, Jeffrey Glenn, Lee Ranaldo, Margaret DeWys, Michael Gira,
Thurston Moore

Symphony No. 3 (Gloria) Review

Branca subtitled this work as “music for the first 127 intervals of
the harmonic series,” and one can certainly sense a more arcane, less overtly
rockish approach here than on previous releases such as The Ascension. This may
also be due to the fact that, by this time, his musicians were for the most part
no longer utilizing traditional (though retuned) electric guitars. Instead,
homemade instruments had been created, wherein guitar strings and pickups were
attached to two-by-fours that were laid in banks horizontally and played with
small sticks or mallets. In performance, one interesting effect of this
technique was that, through amplification, an enormous volume of sound was
capable of being produced by very slight and gentle tapping of the

Symphony No. 3 begins with airy, sustained chords, making their way in
calm fashion through the harmonic series Branca described. They are allowed to
simply hang in time - each complex, each very beautiful on its own. After
about ten minutes, high bell-like tones are introduced, the initial chords now
serving as a solid ground for additional activities. Soon (one might say,
inevitably), Stefan Wischerth's drums begin pounding out an insistent tattoo
that evolves into a full-fledged, driving rock rhythm. As opposed to

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