"A good percentage of the musicians who got involved had all taught themselves to read [music] in a day or two," bassist Tara Barnes says. She and another San Diego musician, Wilson Drozdowski, were among the 20 bassists who took part in composer Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 13, "Hallucination City," for 100 electric guitars, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on March 29.
Branca used low-key methods to solicit participants for the concert, including e-mailing prominent L.A. musicians to spread the word. The only requirement was that each musician needed to know how to read music. Drozdowski, who didn't have much experience reading music, needed a crash course.
"Everyone involved was a wacky character," says Barnes. "Branca basically pulled all the Southern California experimental rock riff-raff together for this thing." Notable performers included Page Hamilton of Helmet, Mike Watt of the Minutemen, and Bruce Duff of 45 Grave.
"The Walt Disney Concert Hall was completely sold out, and we got a ten-minute standing ovation," says Barnes, formerly of Business Lady. In a band called Duchesses, Barnes and Drozdowski played four shows during the past two months. However, due to Drozdowski's impending move to San Francisco and Barnes's commitment to tour with Carla Bozulich of the Geraldine Fibbers, the Duchesses will do their final show at Scolari's Office tonight.