The Glenn Branca Ensemble, led by Glenn Branca, makes its Roulette debut on October 8, 2016
Featuring the world premiere of The Light (for David), written for David Bowie, and a revised version of The Third Ascension
“If art music and rock music sat at either end of a scale, Glenn Branca would be standing on the fulcrum, smashing each side with as many guitars as possible.”
– Vice, May 2016
Roulette is pleased to present legendary avant-garde composer-guitarist Glenn Branca and his sextet, The Glenn Branca Ensemble, in a program featuring instrumental works for four guitars, bass and drums in three different tunings. From his formative No Wave band Theoretical Girls to his epic 100-electric-guitar symphonies, Branca has been a trailblazer, acclaimed for his massive swirls of sound, and original use of repetition, droning, and the harmonic series. For this Roulette appearance, he will premiere The Light (for David), and revisit The Third Ascension – two works, Branca notes, which are “intensely powerful and not for the faint of heart.”
WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
TICKET: General Admission: $30; Members/Students/Seniors: $25; $35/$30 at the door (Door opens at 7 p.m.). roulette.org or call 917-267-0363.
The performance will run one hour and 20 minutes with no intermission.
The Light (for David) is Glenn Branca’s tribute to David Bowie. Although their approach to experimental rock took different paths, Branca and Bowie have long admired each other’s work. They once collaborated in a Tony Oursler audio-video installation created for Das Kunstprojekt Der Expo 2000 in Germany, when Branca was invited to compose music for a text written by Oursler and read by Bowie. Branca writes in an exclusive interview for Roulette’s fall program: “David Bowie was our hero. Intelligent, talented and with the desire to create a really new different rock…When he died, I was shocked like everybody else….I hadn’t realized how much he meant to me throughout most of my life. I think somehow knowing he was here, was like having a muse.”
The program also features a revised version of The Third Ascension, which received its U.S. premiere at The Kitchen (NYC) to sold out houses last February. The work is a follow-up to Branca’s 1981 The Ascension – “a landmark work, that fused the rigorous minimalism of Philip Glass and Steve Reich to clanging, noxious harmonies and thundering rock volumes, [encapsulating] the fury, pathos, and raw energy of New York at the beginning of the 80s” (Pitchfork). With The Third Ascension, Branca furthers his experimentation with resonances generated by alternate tunings for multiple electric guitars.