Pushing 60, one-time Theoretical Girl Glenn Branca is getting ever more diplomatic in his twilight years – either that or Wharton Tiers and Page Hamilton just arenâ€™t returning his calls. The perpetual bane of Rhys Chathamâ€™s existence, Branca has extended an international call-to-axes for the 100 guitarists needed to execute his Symphony No. 13: Hallucination City at Londonâ€™s Frieze Art Fair Friday, October 12, 2007. If you have a small, 15-or-so watt amp and can read basic staff notation – sorry Guitar World goons, no tab – then you can contact Branca himself at firstname.lastname@example.org and plead your case. Just remember to mark LONDON in the subject lineâ€¦and that the guitar sounds an octave lower than written.
Although Chatham hit the century mark first back in ’89 with his seminal mass guitar piece An Angel Moves Too Fast to See, the single movement, 62-minute Symphony No. 13 was the first to do so here in the States. (Moreover, it was the first and only time Iâ€™ve ever heard of a conductor lighting up a fag during his own piece.) And yet, it was Chatham indeed who had the last en masse laugh. In 2005, his adopted city of Paris commissioned the aptly titled A Crimson Grail: For 400 Electric Guitars. A slightly edited version of the premiere performance is out now on Table of the Elements.Â Check outÂ www.tableoftheelements.com to pick up a copy.