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Instruments of Happiness
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Instruments of Happiness
Electric guitar collective: 4, 20 and 100 guitars
Françis Brunet-Turcotte, Jonathan Barriault,
Tim Brady & Simon Duchesne
The Orchestra: 20 professional guitarists
100 guitares électriques: 20 professionals and 80 community players

Instruments of Happiness - Full-Bio-English

I have played guitar for since 1967, electric guitar for since 1972. My interest in the instrument really began on February 9th, 1964, when The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time.  The guitar (indeed, all music) is created to make us happy, sad, contemplative, ecstatic…frankly, one is never indifferent in the face of music. According to the legendary guitar manufacturer, Robert Godin (my favourite), you can never be sad with a guitar in your hands.  Absolutely, the guitar is an “instrument of happiness”, hence the name for this new ensemble “Instruments of Happiness”.

For the over 30 years I have been exploring a new approach to the electric guitar a vision as both a composer and a guitarist.  It is a vision which does not ignore my roots in jazz, blues, rock and noise, but a vision which seeks to extend the boundaries of the electric guitar, incorporating chamber music, electroacoustics, orchestral music, opera, etc. “Instruments of Happiness” is, to a great extend, the next step in this evolution.

Instruments of Happiness is clearly obsessed by the electric guitar.  We only have electric guitars on stage, and we hope guitarists will find some sympathetic resonance with our concerts.  However, we also hope to move beyond the guitar, creating new projects and concerts that are unique, imaginative and passionate musical events, all prepared with the greatest care for the quality of sound and the performance of the music.  We hope to be not just guitarists, but musicians.  We hope to bring you some happiness with our instruments.

Instruments of Happiness comes in 3 sizes: the quartet, a 20-piece orchestra and a 100-piece ensemble creating extraordinary site-specific spatailized new works for multiple guitars.

Our first CD - Instruments of Happiness - was released on the American label Starkland Records in March 2016, to excellent reviews. Our 100 and 20 guitar projects continue to play to sold-out houses across Canada, with recent concerts in Montreal and St. John's,  a 100 guitar concert in Vancouver at the Modulus Festival in November 32016, and a new creation (an homage to Jimi Hendrix) presented in Montreal in April 2017.  Our first Canadian tour, with the IoH quartet, presented 8 concerts across the country in late March/early April 2017.

- Tim Brady, artistic director - 2017