Glenn Branca

In the early 1980s, Glenn Branca 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. In this project, Branca was initially influenced by the writings of Dane Rudhyar, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Harry Partch. He also built several electrically amplified instruments of his own invention, expanding his ensemble beyond the guitar. A few of these instruments are 3rd Bridge guitars. Early members of his group included Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Page Hamilton of Helmet, and several members of Swans. Later on, on the early nineties David Baratier attempted to document Branca's teaching style in "They walked in line."