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Glenn Branca Helped Me Hear The Music In Noise

In the early 1980s, hearing the work of the avant-garde guitarist for the first time — familiar sounds layered into something overwhelming and powerful — was a form of liberation.
American composer and guitarist Glenn Branca performs live on stage at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 2nd February 1988. Source: Frans Schellekens

I remember feeling absolutely free. I recall the sensation of joy.

I first saw Glenn Branca at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. in 1982. I came away from that concert wondering how it was that I, having spent so much of my life listening to music, had simply never thought about music simply as noise, perhaps somewhat organized, to varying degrees, but noise nonetheless. Branca, who died this past Sunday, gave me what may

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