Glenn Branca

Glenn Branca: Symphony Nos. 8 & 10 "The Mysteries"

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Subtitled "The Mystery" and "The Mystery Pt. 2," these two symphonies concern themselves with the two big questions: Life and Death. They are both scored for eight guitars, two basses, keyboard, drums, vocal and two conductors. Symphony No. 8 has two movements: "The Passion" and "Spiritual Anarchy" that both build upon sustained tones that create a counterpoint by means of delays in scale and other patterns and microtunings. The effect is tremendously intense and beautiful. There are also two movements in Symphony No. 10: "The Final Problem" and "The Horror." These are built in a similar manner to the techiques in No. 8 but the tuning and scales employed are different, creating another sensation yet still as intense and continuous in rhythm as No. 8. Especially successful is the final movement, "The Horror," which employs masses of moving clusters that are very close in tuning and thoroughly convincing in the image they portray. It is a gigantic chant of worlds never before imagined. Incidentally, the CD comes with a nifty holographic cover that visually simulates Branca's dense textures.

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