Disquiet Junto Project 0334: Mass Branca

Disquiet Junto Project 0334: Mass Branca
Record a massive multi-layered tribute to the legendary guitarist-composer.

Major thanks to James Britt for contributing this Junto project prompt.

Step 1: This project is a tribute to the late avant-garde composer and guitarist Glenn Branca, who died earlier this month. Among Branca’s many musical systems was to have a vast number of musicians, say 100 guitarists for example, perform together. We’re going to explore that mass of sound to produce a mass in Branca’s memory. It will be a Mass Mass.

Step 2: Pick a single sound source, an instrument perhaps, but really anything that makes a specific sound. One thing to aim for is a sound source that is rich in overtones.

Step 3: Use multiple layers (with “multiple” being defined as you see fit — 100 layers would be awesome, but so too would 10, 30, 50, etc.) of this sound source to record a piece of music.

Background: While knowledge of Glenn Branca’s work isn’t necessary to participate, it is recommended to read up and listen a bit.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0334” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0334” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Please consider posting your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co.

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, May 28, 2018. This project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, May 24, 2018.

Length: The length of your track is up to you. Massive doesn’t necessarily mean long, but long is certainly welcome.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0334” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 334th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Disquiet Junto Project 0334: Mass Branca / Record a massive multi-layered tribute to the legendary guitarist-composer) at:


Major thanks to James Britt for contributing this Junto project prompt.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is from Wikipedia and used thanks to a Creative Commons license:




The project is now live.

1 Like





Instead of finding a sound source, I made my own with a simple melody that gets played by nine guitars. The confusion is such that increasing the number of guitars would basically be redundant. The result is a four minute piece of music that makes believe it is Branca’s Symphony #13 (which does use 100 guitars), but more closely imitates his Lesson No. 1 For Electric Guitar.

Nine Guitars was written for (wait for it) … Nine Guitars.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2GOxieW


This piece was created by playing tones made with PureData software through laptop speakers and recording them with the built-in mic. The total number of layers is about 100.



RIP Glenn Branca


Here’s mine. 9 guitars and 1 bass run through Ableton’s echo on the verge of feedback.

R.I.P. Glenn


I’m very happy to be able to participate again! Been occupied with other projects and thingsss as of late. This thing is a experiment with my newly acquired Infinite Jets by Hologram! Super nice pedal. I’ve been playing non stop with it the last couple of days, mostly with guitar. Here it is in Glitch A mode, playing back a poly triggered loop with infinite sustain. I pre-patched my modular system so I could live sample some stuff with Morphagene and Clouds. I also did a set up with re:mix so I could record into the buffers and jam out parts with my Grid.

In other words: only sound source is a tiny splice of my Fender Jazzmaster through Infinite Jets, sampled, re:re:re:re:re:re:re-sampled and so on! I doubled a couple of tracks in Ableton and panned them around, did some light EQ and a bit compression on some of the sounds. Also utilising the Drum Buss effect which makes some percussive stuff midway through. At the most I think there’s 19 layers of the sound source.

Aaaand the rest is noise…


I remixed many layers of something I did with guitar in 2011 for in the background of a track called “More Signals From KrakRot”


11 stratocaster electric guitars
3 electric basses
additional e-bow electric guitar improvisation


Florence, Italy, summer of 1990. Suss Müsik is sitting in a cafe with three fellow international students from the local art college. We’ve surpassed the “pleasantly drunk” phase and are rapidly accelerating into the “lemme tell you what I really think” stage.

Tonight’s topic of conversation is whether cultural salvation can be found in the likes of David Salle, Julian Schnabel, Jenny Holzer and Robert Longo.

“I hate Robert Longo’s work,” moans Daniel the post-modern painter from Cleveland. “Everything he’s done looks like that Branca album cover.”

“What’s a Branca,” slurs Roberto, whom we’ve dubbed Bill the Person because we suspect that’s his real name.

“He’s one of those New York types,” rasps Hartley the hippie sculptor in his Arkansas drawl. “Like Laurie Anderson.”

“Branca’s nothing like Laurie Anderson,” growls Suss Müsik. “For one thing, Laurie Anderson’s work is exceedingly boring.”

“Oh, like Branca’s not?” asks Daniel. “I mean, if you enjoy ear-piercing volume then that’s great, but boring and loud is still boring. And you really need to see Home of the Brave.”

Home of the Bore is more like it,” growls Suss Müsik. “And seriously, have you actually listened to The Ascension? Do you not hear the hidden tones between the layers of dissonance? The majestic sonic interplay created by hundreds of guitarists strumming a single chord? It’s like a symphony orchestra.”

“Do you guys like the new New Order?” interrupts Bill the Person.

“I don’t even like the old New Order,” dismisses Hartley with a wave of his hand. “Except that one song that goes ‘this is not my beautiful house.’”

Daniel points at Suss Müsik. “You’re nuts.”

"Defending Glenn Branca is nuts? At least someone at this table knows the difference between New Order and Talking Heads. Branca’s music isn’t loud for the sake of volume. It’s genuinely uplifting, cathartic. Plus, his participation in the No Wave movement helped to democratize a male-dominated landscape.”

“Democratic dominatrix no wave what?” squints Bill the Person.

“That is true,” Daniel quietly admits, nodding his head thoughtfully. "I hadn’t considered Branca’s influence on bands like Bush Tetras, Ut and Sonic Youth.” He pauses to wipe his hands on his Silence=Death t-shirt. “Maybe I should go back and check out Lesson No. 1.”

“Branca’s best stuff successfully blurs the line between highbrow and lowbrow art forms," continues Suss Müsik. “You like Philip Glass, right? Some of Branca’s more cerebral work is similar. And if you want to jump up and down and get sweaty, the final two minutes of Light Field (In Consonance) is perfect. Branca’s probably the most maximal minimalist composer working today."

“My favorite Allman Brothers album is Eat a Peach,” croaks Hartley. We already knew this because he mentions it every night.

“You know,” concludes Suss Müsik, “one day, there will be a global collective of talents who will come together to celebrate composers like Glenn Branca. They’ll explore the nuances of his craft through their own creative efforts. Who knows — maybe there’ll be some sort of communication technology that will allow musicians to share their output with a worldwide community of peers, inspiring artistic development among trusted friends.”

“Now you’re just talking crap,” murmurs Daniel, shaking his head. “Have another beer.”


Being the musical illiterate I am, my exposure to Glenn Branca was limited to the Soul Jazz New York Noise compilation, and I’d never really pursued this any further. Spurred by the Junto, I downloaded The Ascension, and guess what, it turns out he’s a major influence on a good chunk of the music I like. There’s a good chunk of the third track that sounds pretty similar to a Godspeed record, for example.

Anyhow, here’s mine. I used a Mannequins Just Friends eurorack module which can handily produce the harmonic series across multiple outputs (this being a technique/method of Branca, according to the internet) and directed multiple variants of this throughout the modular system. I then cheated and added some very basic drums.


No, there’s not much happening here (but a lot happened behind the scenes).

Staying at the French equivalent of „In the middle of nowhere“, I didn’t have much equipment with me. So I did an half-hour field recording of the Lusignac soundscapes. You should see the scenery: Lush green meadows, apple trees, lovely hills, birds, a stream, everything’s peaceful here.

I cut the recording in 96 pieces, each 20 seconds long. In the first 20 seconds you can hear me turning the recorder on. After that, every 5 seconds another 20-second snippet comes in. They are panned from right to middle, then from the left to mid again. The piece closes with me turning the recorder off.

When I came up with the idea, I thought the piece would end up in pure white noise. 96 layers aren’t enough - you can still hear birds, though the faint airplane noises and the crickets start adding up to serious rumble and a painful hiss.

Maybe I should record another half hour.



I kind of cheated a little on this one, as we had to use a single sound source and my sound source is actually a composite of two samples, one from a kalimba and one from my desk lamp. I had used this “instrument” extensively on this older track before, and I thought it was rich enough to carry a piece by itself. I made about twenty clips, most of which use only one tone in quite a repetitive rhythm, and offset the starting points for various clips to create some interesting polyrhythms. Then I added reverb and delay where I felt like it, hit record and started clips one by one. I made very few changes to the arrangement afterwards, and only the most basic mastering touches. This is the result. Tell me what you think.


Took this file as my sound source, it being a rather poor attempt at a rupturing pipe with a resonant hit and a burst of steam! But taking the concept at least of a metal pipe as the ‘source’, I cheekily used a few other metal pipe files from my fx library as well… obviously it all needed some reverb, so I went for metallic / spring verbs there too…

Lots and lots of layers of a metal pipe being filed make up the sustained sections…

At one point the mass was so great that my computer started jittering, and that glitchy audio was then blended back into the original too :slight_smile:


Hey All, Can’t say I knew much about Mr. Branca so thanks for the introduction. I had originally done this track without the guitar harmonics but I saw a video of a guitar solo and wanted to add loops to that. This has about 25 tracks looping. It’s kinda loud but I think that works to it’s advantage. It would be cool to hear this super loud but it might lead to CaCa Brain syndrome.

Here is that guitar solo

Peace, Hugh


As a teenager I was a huge fan of Sonic Youth, this luckily allowed me to become acquainted with the music of Glenn Branca sooner than I might have otherwise. For this week’s Branca related project I ran a synth patch through a guitar amp about 8 times. On each pass through I altered the settings of the patch and the amp. I then took the results of the 8 tracks and layered them at multiple speeds/tempos. This resulted in about 64 layers of sound.


Always liked Branca’s early work with Theoretical Girls much better than his later solo work…

oh, and btw - didn’t get an e-mail this week for some reason…


Hi All,

14 jazz basses …

Have a lovely week!

h u :slight_smile: