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Tim Brady

LE DEVOIR - April 29 2024 - opera "INFORMATION"
"INFORMATION: a great success for Tim Brady. The staging by Anne-Marie Donovan and the sets by Nalo Soyini Bruce were impeccable, and allowed us to move seamlessly from one scene to the next....In terms of the cast...we were spoiled. When the major role of a francophone journalist is enhanced by the vocal projection and range of Pierre Rancourt, the ensemble is put at ease and gains a special aura.  Everyone was excellent....A final important point: the refinement of the instrumental writing of Tim Brady.  The sonorities of the electric guitar and the keyboard were often used very adroitly in Information to create tense or mysterious atmospheres, and the cello also played an important role."
Christophe Huss - Le Devoir

THE NEW YORK TIMES - July 27, 2003 - CD: Symhony in 18 Parts
"A solo guitar symphony might raise some eyebrows, but this 50-minute piece by Canadian composer-performer Tim Brady made me a believer...diversity of approach isn't the only goal here; most of the selections sound carefully considered enough on their own terms to invite repeat listens, whether part of a symphony or not."  SETH COLTER WALLS

Rock and Roll Globe - July 2023:
100 guitars at the Festival international de jazz de Montréal

"By turns ambient, minimalist and gestural, the music twittered, hummed and filled the space like water in an aquarium on a storm-tossed sea. It was thrilling and remarkable. I felt very fortunate to be there to witness it with perhaps a thousand others." David Beckett

Eklectik Media - Oct. 2022: "Backstage At Carnegie Hall" - opera
"Une interprétation très touchante de chacun des chanteurs. Des voix aussi magnifiques les unes que des autres. Il va de soi que chacun a reçu sa part d'ovation. Il faut souligner particulièrment la présence presque constante de Ruben Brutus et Alicia Ault, qui nous ont fait vivre une gamme d'émotions par leurs interprétations de Charlie Christian et la Voyageuse temporelle.

Une première mondiale est toujours éprouvante pour les artistes mais aussi émouvante pour eux et pour le public qui n'a pas manqué de démonter sa satisfaction.  En espérant que cet opéra aura les succès qui est dû au compositeur et la librettiste." Diane Beaudin

Fanfare 2022: “Slow, Quiet Music CD”
"I found this recording to be captivating, and improving in interest with repeat hearings. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in thoughtful electronica, or just a diverting change of pace." Peter Burwasser

Whole note 2022: "Slow, Quiet Music CD”
"Performances are superb, creating a new contemporary wall of electric guitar sounds!" Tiina Kiik

 Musicworks 2022: “Slow, Quiet Music CD”
"The album presents an interesting case study of how different composers can approach and interpret identical, and challenging, instructions…these works are certainly slow and tranquil, but the happiness arises more from quiet contemplation than overt expressions of joy. Listening though a good pair of headphones is recommended to fully appreciate the spatialization effects. While this is music to relax to, the encyclopedic range of guitar techniques and effects will keep six-string aficionados engaged." Lawrence Joseph

San Francisco Classical Voice: "Actions Speak Louder" - triple CD 2021
"The release is structured dramatically as a kind of three-act play...Brady's range is on full display, as each piece takes varied approaches to the writing, weaving in and out of idiomatic moments and often completely transforming the timbre of the instrument beyond immediate recognition.

There's a lot to digest, and the collection invites patient and repeated listening. Yet even a cursory engagement will serve as an impressive introduction to the work of this prolific and continuously inspired composer."
Giacomo Fiore

TEXTURA - May 2021: "Actions Speak Louder" - triple CD 2021
"...there's no denying the release is an incredible achievement, especially when experienced in triptych form.  The award-winning Brady is highly regarded in Canada, but his accomplishments as a guitarist, composer, and visionary have also been hailed in publications such as Downbeat and Guitar Player. The material presented on this latest statement argues that such recognition isn't unwarranted."

 "Brady'a ambitious composition (Désir: concerto for electric guitar and large ensemble) works very well, in part because his arrangements are anchored in his own playing, translating the agile volubility of the solo instrument into viable orchestral voicings and flexible forms."  Juian Cowley - The Wire (2019)

"BEST OF 2018: Let's start with the most read reviews.  Without a doubt the prize here goes to Tim Brady's "Music for Large Ensemble".  This reviewer was enthralled by this recording by this Canadian musician whose work needs to be better known".
Alan J. Cronin - New Music Buff (2018)

"Désir is vehemently spiky, rhythmically intricate, speckled with abstraction yet concretely up-to-date.  Brady's fretboard dexterity - frequently in evidence - is undeniable".
Massimo Ricci - Touching Extremes (2019)

"As a soloist and conductor Brady inspires his Bradyworks Large Ensemble to high quality performances"
Pizzicato Magazine (2018)

Instruments of Happiness electric guitar quartert:
"The Happiness Handbook is a wonderful album...an ideal gateway recording to introduce progressive rock and fusion listeners to contemporary electric chamber music.  Highly Recommended."
Chris De Chiara - Avant Music News (2019)

"Son Quatuor à cordes #2 "Journal" est la pièce maîtresse de l'album. Rythmes frénétiques insistants, accords soutenu graincants (comme du "white noise") et épisodes introspectifs lyriques s'accordent dans un chef-d'oeuvre important de notre musique contemporaine québécoise.  Bravo...(l'oeuvre de) Brady est saissant et essentiel."
Frederic Cardin - Ludwig van Montréal (2018)

"Eight Songs About: Symphony #7: The overall vibe was often troubling yet the inner spirit was somehow transcendent. In the dark times that we now find ourselves in, this music seemed most appropriate. I hope to hear this piece again on record since I believe there is a lot more going on than my initial listening."
Bruce Gallanter - Downtown Music Gallery (FIMAV 2017)

Brady then took over to direct "8 Songs about: Symphony #7", a reflection, with script and song, featuring on the historic performance of Dimitri Schostakovith's Leningrad Symphony on Aug. 9, 1942. The music was dramatic and compelling, the orchestra and soloists succeeding in shining an artistic light on a period of great darkness, with stunning impact.  The work deserves repeat performances!"
Irwin Block - Avant Music News (FIMAV 2017)

Tim Brady's "100 questions, 100 réponses" (for 100 guitars): Aug. 2016
featured in a major article in The Guardian (UK) on the history of the electric guitar:
Read HERE.

Instruments of Happiness
CD - named one of the "Top 10 New Music CDs of 2016"
George Grella - The Big City Blog (USA) - Dec. 2016

Instrument of Happiness: Top 5 Classical Records 2016 - Music Times

Instruments of Happiness: Symphony #5.0 CD:
At times beautiful colors float atop chordal progression.  This music will get you dreaming, then wake you up with some incredible sounds, or vice versa.

Electric guitarists Tim Brady, Gary Schwartz, Michel Héroux and Antoine Berthiaume give us tour de force performances, filled with precision, a flair for color, a total world of electric sounds that realize possibilities one might have dreamed about but rarely if ever experienced.  It reminds us that new music still can widen the envelope of possibilities, still has the ability to point us to the future, to the unknown, but always around the corner from where we are now.  Excellent!"
Grego Appelgate Edwards - Gappelgate Classical-Modern Reviews - May 2016

Instruments of Happiness: Symphony #5.0 CD:
"One comes away with an appreciation of Brady's determination to shape the concept of symphony to his own desire as both composer and performer.  As is the case with the memorable symphonists of the past, the attentive listener gradually begins to appreciate Brady's personal charcteristic take on what he wants the symphony to be."
Stephen Smoliar - San Francisco Examiner - June 2016

Instruments of Happiness: Symphony #5.0 CD:
"The very first track, a movement of Symphony 5.0, titled Riff...quickly moves into an ear-capturing riff that grows and spreads through the ensemble, into a mesmerizing blur of sound that is part minimalist trance, part rock solo, and all original.  Since I can't quite describe this CD, I will just say: Find it. Buy it. Listen to it. I can promise that you will find it full of surprises."
Peter Alexander - www.sharpandflatirons.com - June 2016

Of Sound, Mind and Body CD:
"With a very high level of musicianship and listening, this will surely be one of the year's best improvisatory workouts."
Lawrence Joseph - Musicworks - Summer 2016

"National Sawdust
...Atacama: Symphony #3, given its New York premiere by 16 Trinity Wall Street choirsters and 11 Newspeak ensemble instrumentalists on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015....the piece's motion and emotion is radiantly self-mastered without angry edges or sharp corners. Over the course of the symphony, Gregorian chant, trendy Whiteacre choral sounds, jazz, rock n'roll and classical orchestra were all utilized as influences, but the final sounds was all its own.  Brady's work is deeply emotive, grounded and elegant."
Lana Norris - www.icareifyoulisten.com - Nov. 2015

"Ghost Tango..is a powerful, disturbing, highly artful piece of theatre about a woman haunted by her past...it is an inspired, multi-layered art richly delving into the tragedy of the human experience. (Soprano) Jackson goes deep into the darkness with fantastic vocal control and impressive physicality for a chilling expression of a soul (and body) in anguish. Tim Brady uses his well-honed language of electric guitar and electronic devices..to create an entire soundscape - very intense and layered."
Elissa Bernard - Halifax Chronicle Herald - Sept. 2015

"String Quartet #2: A premier to remember.  Say this for Brady: He writes pieces you want to hear again, not commissions you quickly forget.  Playing was sonorous, committed and technically impeccable. The crowd went nuts."
Arthur Kaptainis - Montréal Gazette - July 2014

"Tim Brady's Third Symphony, Atacama, (is) a work of haunting and explosive power. It receives an intensely vibrant performance on this new disc featuring the Montreal-based ensemble VivaVoce and the instrumental group Bradyworks...Brady's 50-minute journey is relentless and affecting, especially shaped with urgent commitment by the combined forces of VivaVoce and Bradyworks."
Donald Rosenberg - Gramophone Magazine - June 2013

"The most striking (performance) was Tim Brady's Atacama: Symphony #3. Brady is a Montreal guitarist who thinks big. The movements evolve in interesting ways, alternating choral and instrumental parts for a while, then sort of smashing everything into everything else at high velocity...and it worked wellA CD of the piece was recently issued by ATMA, and it's highly recommended."
Byron Coley - WIRE Magazine - June 2013

"Tim Brady's own works are stylistically cross-border and proved atmospheric and engaging. When words were attached...the imagery was palpable and strongly etched. Purely instrumental pieces...showed real flair in capturing the essence of the instruments, a trait seized upon with fervour by all the performers".
Rodney Smith - Adelaide Advertiser (Australia) - 2014

"Si vous n'achètez qu'un disc compact de musique contemporaine cette année, achètez Atacama: Symphonie #3 de Tim Brady!"
Fréderic Lambert - Radio-Canada - première chaîne - "Medium large" - 2013

"Brady has a distinctive musical language and he can enchant us with his expertise both as a guitarist and a composer...(he) is an extraordinarily talented guitarist and these compositions (24 Frames) show his amazing ability to play in a variety of styles.  These are fascinating experiments in musical sound and I think a great many people will want to hear them."
Maria Nockin - Fanfare Magazine - 2012

"Brady's 13 excerpts from his recent work 24 Frames sometimes sounded like a cluster of guitarists, but there was only one onstage - the composer, who is also a monster soloist.  His nimble-fingered virtuosity was a big part of these systematic adventures for electric guitar, with and without digital delays, unusual tunings and video imagery."
Robert Everett-Green - Globe and Mail - 2011

"First up was guitarist extraordinaire Tim Brady in a spotlit solo performed on the steps at the front of the stage. Red Melisma was wistfully bluesy and virtuosic. Full of unusual and fancy fretwork, it showcased Brady’s amazing abilities on the instrument. Amplify, Multiply, Remix and Redefine by Brady enlisted the talents of 21 electric guitarists...The work paid homage to the life and work of the late legendary guitarist Les Paul.

Opening with the gentlest of strumming, the work washed in sounds much like wind chimes blowing in the breeze. Brady as soloist, gave a virtual clinic on the instrument showing its unbelievable versatility. He is a guitar lovers delight, seemingly capable of anything. Intriguing bent notes and impressive riffs were but a few techniques demonstrated. Solid orchestration set a rather galactic mood, with strings sweeping like stars and brass loudly announcing their arrival."

Gwenda Nemeroksky - Winnipeg Free Press - Feb. 2010

 "...electric guitarist Tim Brady used extensive technology to become exuberant one-man ensembles, each accompanied by video projections."

Steve Smith - New York Times - June 2010

"Bradyworks' take on the 20th-century was a stunning tour de force.  The continuous flow of video images streaming across the back wall behind the band amid the unrelenting stream of notes stunned the Radio Room audience into an amazed silence.  The music completely filled the mind, leaving no room for stray thoughts or the least urge to daydream.  It was high-enery stuff.  The shock came from the stunning unison playing at high-speed of notes well oustisde the usual scale and argeggios...These phrases were angular, syncopated, metrically irregular, articulated by eccentric accents and powerful enough to elevate your pulse.  It was a tour-de-fource performance."

Stephen Pedersen - Halifax Chronicle-Herald - Oct. 2009

"Composer/guitarist Tim Brady presented a strong program of recent works...As Messier's imagery developed, he used unexpected permutations of color to create a kind of equilibrium between suggestions of water and fire, a brilliant equivilant to Brady's guitar work."

Stuart Broomer - Musicworks - Winter 2009

"Technically staggering, Brady's control of a wealth of sound-processing devices allows him to expand the sound of one guitar into a very large soundscape. His layering of delay and oscillation, during the first composition of the performance, allowed what was initially a very small group of notes played with a relentlessly rapid tremolo (up-and-down picking) to evolve almost imperceptibly. Effects that generated no small amount of noise made the piece more about texture than tonality, even as he expanded the piece away from those initial few notes...his “Double Quartet (Hommage a Shostakovich),” on which Brady was joined by his Bradyworks group—saxophonist Andre Leroux, percussionist Catherine Meunier, sampler David Kronkite and Brigitte Poulin—that was both the performance's longest piece and its highlight.

John Kelman - AllAboutJazz.com - May 2008

"Chamber opera's music and video evocative: Tim Brady, our prince of accessible avant garde, is determined to keep his 2003 chamber opera "Three Cities in the Life of Dr. Norman Bethune" in circulation....unlike most self-proclaimed polystylists, this Montreal composer sounds coherent, not confused, as he draws on different resources. Sustaining interest with one character is difficult, but Brady managed by combining Broadway declamation in the vocal part with a varied instrumental backdrop that often felt animated by the rhythmic spirit of bebop. The score expressed the impassioned lonliness of the character (Bethune)."
Arthur Kaptainis - The Montreal Gazette - Oct. 2006

"Virtuosic Bradyworks on tour: Deeply personal performances of solo pieces were the night's highlights, and began early in the concert. Brady slapped, popped, plucked, chorded and pick-slid through his own composition...displayed his extensive guitar technique, never failing to provide the audience with a new trick. ...A virtuosic performance of captivating improvisations and deep explorations into sound."
Eric Lehman - Musicworks Magazine #92 - Summer 2005

"The Salome Dancer ..a very special feature of a particularly outstanding Open Ears Festival. A major multimedia production (music by Tim Brady and libretto by John Sobol), the opera provided a visceral tour through the interweaving fates and aspirations of a dancer (Tamara Hummel), a preacher (Terence Mierau), a reporter (Michael Donovan) and a cop (Ian Funk) . Superlative casting enabled tricky multimedia elements to converge into a mostly seamless whole....The Bradyworks Ensemble performed expertly, given a very tricky score which alternated between the enraged and the frenetic, to the mysterious and sustained....Breaking the mould for innovative storytelling and multimedia art, the audience left the theatre moved, stirred and thought-provoked."
Stephen Preece - The Record (Waterloo, Ontario) April 2005

"...Brady is a true mad scientist of guitar sound, placed on Earth, it seems, to smash the barriers between high and low culture. His wild guitar sounds are daggers in the heart of classical music pretense...the music has a relentless drive to it and..one has to admire the way that Brady works with Lorraine Vaillancourt's NEM to bring out their playful side."
Mike Chamberlin / HOUR Weekly 2005 - review of CD "Playing Guitar: Symphony #1"

"...Three Cities in the Life of Dr. Norman Bethune...The eight instrumentalists (including Brady), singer Donovan and conductor Pierre Simard deserve much praise for their clean performances - with special kudos to Philip Hornsey's virtuosic percussion duty."
John Terauds / The Toronto Star 2005

"...la musique de Brady n'oublie jamais qu'elle est porteuse d'une vrai charge émotionnelle. Souplesse des compositions, articulation collectives, sensibilits assumées, les partitions de Brady en appelle à la quiétude de l'instant. Importe peu alors l'orchestration choisie (une pièce pour quatuor à cordes , 3 piéces pour sextet , une pièces pour big band) et le contexte défini ( l'agressivité de "sound off" la plus ancienne composition du disque, ou les turbulences contrastes de "2 chords less than a blues") quelque chose d'apaisée perce l'écorce d'une musique que l'on devine ouverte au monde."
ImproJazz (France) 2004 - review of CD "Unison Rituals"

"The title suite (Twenty Quarter Inch Jacks) is a guitarist's fantasy - composed for 20 players, but performed here solely by Brady. Over the half-hour length he explores the sonic possibilites of 120 vibrating strings and no small amount of feedback....the piece is richly textured and intriguing, like a huge maze of sound caves.
James Hale / Downbeat 2003

Tim Brady's CD "10 Collaborations" listed in "Downbeat" magazines "Best CDs of 2001"
January 2002 issue

"Tim Brady was a very interesting discovery. He simultaneously played in a free and a tightly disciplined style...with astonishing virtuosity and brilliant mastery of tone colour, he created an elegant, flowing, often minimal music, which developed into all kinds of dramatic and sculptural forms."
Kjeld Frandsen / Berlingske Tidende (Copenhagen) 2001

"Tim Brady's Lightning Field found the right balance between musical gesture and shapely architecture in a piece that relied on the virtuosity of the players as much as on the electronic samplings that contributed additional menace to its often savage writing."
David Vance / Sydney Morning Herald 2000

"Maybe the most interesting fact about Tim Brady...is the consistency of his musical style. It is a brilliant one. And he has been at it long enough to have developed a long list of new music that works, that regularly gets through to audiences. He communicates."
Stephen Pedersen / Halifax Chronicle-Herald 2000

"L'ecoute de cette cantate (As It Happened de Tim Brady)...ne peut laisser personne indifférent, non seulement parce qu'il s'agit d'une oeuvre à contenu politique, mais parce que l'auteur est parvenu à nous en communiquer l'universailté."

Serge Camirand / Voir (Montréal) 2000

"Brady leavens the program with some virtuoso guitar playing...Huge, swooping electronic waves shimmer and peal like a carillon. Brady has become the leading proponent of gaining acceptance of the electric guitar in new music and Strange Attractors is a strong bridge between the freedom of jazz and the structure of formal composition. **** (4 stars)".
James Hale / Downbeat 1999

"I doubt anything could defeat Brady as a player. He is a true virtuoso."

Martin Adams / The Irish Times 1998

"Of all the talented composers attempting to storm Symphony Hall fully plugged, none surpasses his guitaristic insight and compositional craft. Brady's work for solo electric guitar, guitar and tape, and guitar with chamber and orchestral ensembles skillfully exploits the instrument's unique properties, eliciting colors and combinations unprecedented in rock and classical."
Joe Gore / Guitar Player 1997

"Check out Tim Brady's brilliant new CD Scenarios. Moving from strength to strength over a programme of six varied works for electric guitar, live electronics and tape, Scenarios is a masterful display of consummate craftsmanship, striking innovation and genuine musicality."
Andrew Hurlbut / Musicworks 1995

"Revolutionary Songs was entirely convincing. For all the song cycle's eclecticism (it) remains a remarkably disciplined piece of writing...the Bradyworks ensemble gave it a precise, even and altogether controlled performance."
Mark Miller / The Globe & Mail 1994

"Imaginary Guitars...otherworldly configurations that defy both convention and belief. Astonishing!"
Joe Gore / Guitar Player Magazine 1993

"You can hear the impressive range of Brady's explorations on his latest recording - Imaginary Guitars."
Downbeat 1993

"Brady's guitar floated in an endless melody so angular and complex, yet so calm and controlled, that I'm eager to hear it again to calculate what made it tick. What made it compelling was a secure sense of large scale harmony...brought to so original a texture. Brady's putting out so much music, so much of it good, that you're bound to run into his name again."
Kyle Gann / The Village Voice 1991

Photo: Laurence Labat