Music Preview: Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 13

By London_DaveK Last edited 135 months ago
Music Preview: Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 13

Whilst spring may be the season in which our thoughts turn to love, autumn is definitely the time when it's a bit too cold for all that flowery stuff and so we turn to art for inspiration instead. This weekend will be a busy one for art lovers in the capital, as the art fair season comes into full bloom. Returning for its fifth year, the Frieze Art Fair will showcase the work of over 1,000 artists in Regent's Park from now until Sunday.

Not content with simply offering an astounding selection of art each day in the park, Frieze Music is spilling over into The Roundhouse on Friday night to bring us a performance of Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 13: Hallucination City, directed by the legendary New York avant-garde composer himself. A symphony for 100 electric guitars, Hallucination City was first performed in June 2001 at the base of the World Trade Center. For this performance of the piece, Branca seized the opportunity to engage with new talent as well as a local audience by recruiting 100 volunteer guitarists to bring the symphony to life, adding a welcome London flavour to the mix.

Although the late 1970s saw Branca involved with two post-punk bands, Theoretical Girls and The Static, he would eventually become known more for these compositions for electric guitar than his experiments with rock forms. With pieces such as The Ascension and Symphony No. 3, he proved himself to be a master of cacophany, atonality and the power of the unwavering uniform drone. For fans of discordant rock, experimental music, minimalism and modern composition, this rare chance to hear one of the most compelling figures in contemporary music and sound art should not be missed.

Portrait of Glenn Branca courtesy of Glenn Branca and Frieze Art Fair, Copyright Glenn Branca, 2007

Glenn Branca directs Symphony No. 13: Hallucination City at The Roundhouse on Friday, 12 October 2007 at 7:30 p.m. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm. Cost: £25.

Frieze Art Fair runs from 11 - 14 October from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., except on the 14th when it closes at 6 p.m. Tickets are available from See Tickets' Frieze site.

Last Updated 11 October 2007