Music for 400 Electric Guitars

Crimson Grail being performed in Paris

Continuing with the theme of late '70s NY underground music -- one of the real survivors and innovators from that time and place, Rhys Chatham will be performing his monumental piece for 400 electric guitars, Crimson Grail, outdoors at Lincoln Center on August 15, 2008. Rhys, along with Glenn Branca, is known for creating massive walls of electric guitar drones with modulations and overtones forming a truly physical and inclusive aural experience. Chatham and Branca were the inspirations for Sonic Youth's forays into slabs of overtone and feedback. Rhys, who now lives in Paris, has been presenting this piece in piazzas and basilicas all over Europe. Seeing and hearing it performed at Lincoln Center should be unforgettable.

But here's the real opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience:
Rhys has put out an open call for guitar players to perform the piece. You can sign up by going to this site. You must be a capable player, have your own gear, and commit to three rehearsals plus the performance. You can see photos of previous performances here.

I must say I'm a bit bummed (or is it relieved?) that I'll be away on vacation the week of this performance. Otherwise I'd be very tempted to dust off the old '65 Fender Jaguar and go make some serious noise -- hell, maybe even change the strings.