Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven)

Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven)

by Glenn Branca


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Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven)

Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 6 is as dense, edgy, and dramatic as listeners have come to expect. Symphony No. 6 isn't a symphony in the stuffy classical sense -- it's not written for a traditional orchestra, and it doesn't obviously adhere to symphonic form. Still, the use of the term "symphony" is appropriate here, since it aptly describes the grandiosity of Branca's work. This particular symphony is scored for drums, bass, keyboard, and between eight and ten guitars. The guitars are used exclusively for texture and noise, however, not melody; the guitarists use a variety of unorthodox tunings and coax unusual sounds from their instruments. The piece's five movements typically begin rather quietly, then grow into massive noise squalls, accompanied by insistent, pounding drums. Symphony No. 6, like many of Branca's works, has one foot in the late-'70s New York no wave scene that inspired Sonic Youth, and the other in the experimentalism of late-20th century composers like Iannis Xenakis. This recording may frustrate listeners who wish Branca would just join one camp or the other, but that doesn't make his work any less powerful or evocative. Branca is one of the few avant-garde composers with the nerve to subtitle his work "Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven," and one of even fewer whose music is discordant, engrossing, and scary enough to make the listener take such a subtitle seriously.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/1994
Label: Atavistic Records
UPC: 0735286191028
catalogNumber: 61910
Rank: 112825

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Glenn Branca   Primary Artist,Guitar,Conductor,Ensemble
Page Hamilton   Guitar,Ensemble
Eric Hubel   Guitar,Ensemble
Algis Kizys   Bass,Guitar,Ensemble
Phil Kline   Guitar,Ensemble
Carolyn Master   Guitar,Ensemble
John Myers   Guitar,Ensemble
Ellen Watkins   Guitar,Ensemble
Stephen Wischerth   Drums,Ensemble
Evans Wohlforth   Guitar,Ensemble

Technical Credits

Glenn Branca   Contributor
Ray Brown   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Tim Holmes   Liner Notes
Wharton Tiers   Producer
Stephen Wischerth   Drum Arrangements

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