Last night Glenn Branca performed with his new ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge for the CD release of his sequel album to his ’81 record Ascension. I thoroughly enjoyed his no-bullshit-tell-it-like-it-is character on stage and also in the preview article in the Village Voice this week. This new album titled The Ascension: Sequel, was released on his own label Systems Neutralizers. It was great to read that this album is completely artist made and released, making no record industry/marketing compromises. You want to know that the artist himself is proud of it! The ensemble consists of four guitars, drum and bass with Branca conducting himself.
I would generally say that this music is not what I listen to, but I was happy to be at the show last night. They were an intense and impact-driven ensemble that created walls of sound color that I usually do not experience. It kind of reminded me of a really magnified prism. I know that I miss out on some of the upper-end colors by using earplugs, but my ears had no way of sustaining the length of the concert at that decibel.
Glenn Branca made himself available to sign CD’s after the show. I found out that he actually has a piece he wrote for toy piano! I’m not sure if it is a piece for toy piano and electronics or a recorded track of sampled toy piano with electronics. I’ve noticed that composers generally love or hate the toy piano and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that his creative output had a toy piano in there somewhere. He said something about it not being released, but I hope to follow up on it someday!