SF's Aquarius Records has a short review and stream (scroll down) of Glenn Branca's 10 guitar Indeterminate Activity Of Resultant Masses. This is the performance from 1982 where John Cage was in attendance and the CD includes Wim Mertens interviewing John Cage where the composer expresses his strong dislike for the experience. A generation gap between Cage and Branca? An aesthetic gap? A political gap?
The reviewer also prefers to listen to Cage talk rather than to listen to Cage's music. While the man was a genius, his music can be quite good as well.
Past and current Sonic Youth'ers Lee Ronaldo and Thurston Moore play on the Branca recording. If I squint, this music, at least the clip of it, reminds me of the disparate sounds and pulse of In C. From the Dusted review:
What makes Branca’s composition so genius is that while it often feels like pure chaos, there is precise structure to what each guitarist is doing so that each individual chord figures into the mass in a very proscribed way. In a way, he’s taking ideas from Penderecki and Ligeti and applying them to electric guitars.
That review also make the observation about a generation gap and quotes Cage as saying the music of Branca (and Laurie Anderson) won't be heard in ten years. Well no, as we fortunately listen to the music of all three (especially Laurie Anderson's Cunningham Stories, from the John Cage Tribute album). Nonetheless, I enjoy hearing composers comment on the music of other composers, with Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson the most articulate examples.
Cujo at KFJC says Cage in the interview had "world-artist-weary" insight and also reviews the Branca piece:
10 guitars and some drums & tympani in a slowly oozing rhythmic sludge. Think Dreyblatt without the math (though this well predates Dreyblatt) with a hefty dose of metallic Lucier resonance. Nice.
glenn branca has a blog on new york times select but my online media budget is tapped out so no idea what he is saying. are these the first "elitist" blogs?