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My 20th Century Tim Brady

Prix Opus 2009-10: Disque de l’année — Finaliste

My 20th Century est un projet multimédia signé Tim Brady en collaboration avec les vidéastes Martin Messier et Oana Suteu. Les quatre compositions qui le constituent — jumelées à quatre vidéos spectaculaires — retracent musicalement l’histoire du siècle passé.

Strumming, pour multiples guitares, exploite un seul geste (celui du grattement des cordes de l’instrument) ainsi qu’une seule image vidéo (la main du musicien) pour créer une séquence presqu’onirique d’accords, mélodies et textures visuelles.

Traces — pour guitare, piano, percussions, saxophone et échantillonneur — est un hommage au guitariste Charlie Christian; la pièce est fortement influencée par l’énergie rythmique typique du jazz et se fond avec les images de Martin Messier qui combinent d’une manière époustouflante les 2 millions de caractères du code source de l’ADN.

Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg (Casino Adagio) est une pièce lente et atmospherique; interprêtée subtilement par le Quatuor Molinari, elle fait de contrepoint aux images évocatrices de Oana Suteu, tournées à l’Île-aux-Coudres et au Casino du Lac-Leamy.

Double Quartet, en trois mouvements, est une réflection sur la vie du compositeur Dmitri Chostakovitch et sa ville natale, Saint-Pétersbourg. Les images d’archives s’alternent avec celles de la ville actuelle dans une œuvre ambitieuse de 30 minutes qui célèbre l’histoire tragique d’une ville dont la force et la détérmination lui a permis de survivre, dans le siècle passée, à bien d’épreuves. —Tim Brady, juillet 2009

CD-Audio + 1 DVD-Vidéo

My 20th Century

Tim Brady

Bradyworks, Quatuor Molinari

La presse en parle

  • Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no 143, 1 mai 2010
  • Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no 17, 1 avril 2010
  • Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no 83, 1 mars 2010
    Tim Brady embrasse un champ temporel plus vaste, non circonscrit exclusivement à la musique, en se focalisant toutefois sur quelques images bien précises, parfois anecdotiques.
  • Kurt Gottschalk, Signal to Noise, no 56, 1 janvier 2010
    … they are engaging and enjoyable.
  • Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 710, 28 décembre 2009
  • M, Where’d All My Friends Go?, 11 novembre 2009
    it’s all very moving, at times even overwhelming.
  • Éric Champagne, La Scena Musicale, no 15:3, 1 novembre 2009
    My 20th Century est au final un projet profondément original…
  • Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, 30 octobre 2009
    Tim Brady is perhaps the most ambitious guitarist and composer to emerge from Canada over the past couple of decades.
  • Andrew Timar, The WholeNote, no 15:2, 1 octobre 2009
    The elegiac movement An Infinity of Four with images from the siege of Leningrad was particularly moving.
  • François Couture, Monsieur Délire, 25 septembre 2009
    … musicalement, c’est ce que Brady a produit de plus solide avec Bradyworks depuis… Revolutionary Songs.
  • Réjean Beaucage, Voir, 24 septembre 2009
    Il prouve encore une fois qu’il est l’un des compositeurs québécois contemporains les plus intéressants.

DVD

Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no 143, 1 mai 2010

Avant Prog

Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no 17, 1 avril 2010

[…] Mi riferisco alla nuova opera del chitarrista/compositore Tim Brady che con My 20th Century ci regala la sua personalissima sintesi del secolo appena concluso. Dapprima è la narrazione per chitarra sola di Strumming (curiosamente dedicata a John Lennon), una sorta di crocevia tra il Fripp più estremo e una sorta di Mike Oldfield in formato lisergico. Poi tocca al post-serialismo di Traces, composizione molto ardita per quintetto semi-acustico che, successivamente, lascia il campo ai quasi venti minuti di Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg. Anche qui siamo proiettati nel cuore delle avanguardie del primo novecento dove un lacerante paesaggio elettronico ospita lunghi fraseggi per quartetto d’archi, situazione che - sebbene con una dose di ulteriore drammaticità - viene riproposta in Double Quartet (Hommage à Dmitri Chostakovich) articolata in tre movimenti: Impossible Pizzicato Machine, An Infinity of Four e Hockey Canon, Fugue che vede nell’armonizzazione introspettiva del movimento centrale il suo momento migliore. L’uscita è completata da un dvd che ripropone le medesime composizioni abbinandole ad un percorso visivo.

Critique

Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no 83, 1 mars 2010
Tim Brady embrasse un champ temporel plus vaste, non circonscrit exclusivement à la musique, en se focalisant toutefois sur quelques images bien précises, parfois anecdotiques.

Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 710, 28 décembre 2009

The name of Tim Brady regularly appears in the columns of Vital Weekly. This time with his multimedia project My 20th Century, subtitled as a ‘music/video/theatre narrative in 4 works’. CD and DVD contain the same compositions in the identical performance. The dvd has as an extra the beautiful videos from artists Martin Messier and Oana Suteu that were shown during performance. To exclude any misunderstanding, the dvd contains no pictures of the performance. Usually I feel very ambiguous about multimedia-projects. Personally I don’t need pictures if the music satisfies me, nor the other way around. But with each dvd-release like this one, I try to put my prejudices aside. And in this case I have to reconsider my views on this point. Music and the videos are very worthwhile, and I felt no urge to put one of them down. On the other hand, whether the combination of these two media produce something that is bigger then their sum, is still a question for me. BradyBrady started this project in 2003 when the first work was composed. The others followed in 2005. The works are performed by his own ensemble Bradyworks and Quator Molinari. Strumming (for John Lennon) is the most accessible of all four works. It is written for multiple guitars and built from limited musical material. Simple riffs and repeated and alternately textured. Because repetition is a key element is this composition it has a hypnotizing effect. This is underlined by the video that is constructed from pictures of a hand of a person strumming a guitar. Traces is a work for guitar, piano, percussion, saxophone and sampler and brings tribute to another guitarist, namely jazz musician Charlie Christian. Brady deconstructed a guitar solo by Christian hat he played in concert with Bennie Goodman in 1941. By doing this BradyBrady abstracted from jazz and choose a pulsating, tight and severe sounding new music jacket as we know from earlier works by BradyBrady. Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg (Casino Adagio) is written for string quartet plus electronics. The electronic environment is ever changing and full of detail. For this work BradyBrady took inspiration from a painting by Jean-Paul Riopelle, “a work obsessed with ghostly images of birds and nature”. The CD closes with Double Quartet, divided in three sections this ambitious work reflects on the life of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. It features a “virtual string quartet” plus piano, saxophone, percussion and electric guitar. How the collaboration between BradyBrady and video artists Martin Messier and Oana Suteu came about I don’t know. From the pictures I suppose that they were chosen and created in function of the compositions by Brady. Oana Suteu did the video for Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg. Martin Messier made the other three ones. Martin Messier is a composer and performer as well, and the fascination for the relation between sound and images, unites his talents. Oana Suteu is from Romania, where she studied at the Film and Theatre Academy in Bucharest.

Review

M, Where’d All My Friends Go?, 11 novembre 2009

Bradyworks & Quatuor Molinari together constitute the audio half of a compelling new multimedia project, My 20th Century, by Montréal-based guitarist/composer Tim Brady. The two compositions align many styles Brady has previously employed but, right off, seems best suited to the voluminous chamber. With a film by videographers Martin Messier (also a renowned French-Canadian musician) and Oanu Suteu exhibited alongside four guitar-led narratives, Brady eloquently melds important artistic and social developments of the 20th century. Together, through abstraction and recognizable archetypes, it’s all very moving, at times even overwhelming. An interesting project, but Brady’s half of the deal is what I’ll casually return to.

it’s all very moving, at times even overwhelming.

Critique

Éric Champagne, La Scena Musicale, no 15:3, 1 novembre 2009
My 20th Century est au final un projet profondément original…

Review

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, 30 octobre 2009

Tim Brady is perhaps the most ambitious guitarist and composer to emerge from Canada over the past couple of decades. He rarely seems to be tied to any one category like jazz, classical or progressive rock, although his music involves all of those and more. This double disc (CD+DVD) set is Tim’s most ambitious work yet. My 20th Century features two ensembles: Bradyworks (el. guitar, piano, saxes, sampler & percussion) and the Quatuor Molinari (string quartet) plus video. This work is broken into four parts, each one an homage to an certain artist. Strumming (for John Lennon)> is first and it was inspired by the John Kennedy assassination, the arrival of the Beatles and the way TV brought the world together for these monumental events. The piece features multiple electric guitars and a looped video image. I dig the way a melody and then some guitar noise is trying to break through the multiple layers of strumming. Each of the various layers of guitar parts evokes different ways the electric guitar effects our lives. Traces (for Charlie Christian) was inspired by a famous early jazz guitar solo (Solo Flight from 1941), in which Mr. Christian joined Benny Goodman on stage at Carnegie Hall, thus breaking down racial barriers. This piece features Bradyworks, Tim’s working quintet, and it is a deconstruction of Mr. Christian’s solo. I like the way that this work turns the original melody inside out, so we hear it in different ways, speeding it up and slowing it down in places. Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg was inspired by a painting by Jean-Paul Riopelle, “a work obsessed with ghostly images of birds and nature”. This piece features the Quatuor Molinari string quartet and samples of the casino where the painting was hung. It is long and consistently fascinating with slowly swirling layers of strings punctuated by selective samples. The final piece is called Double Quartet and it does indeed feature both groups. It is dedicated to the composer Dmitri Shostakovich and was inspired by the composers’s long life in Russia under various regimes and the great music that he composed. This piece is the most ambitious yet and is about 30 minutes long, broken into three sections. As I listen to this piece for the third time in 2 days, I am still amazed by the many things involved: Zappa-like quirky writing, tight inter-connected lines moving together and around one another like with the precision of a successful train schedule (not NJ Transit). The video DVD provides another source of stimulation to be dealt with and again it takes time to absorb the many different ideas involved. A great deal of preparation and work obviously went into wonderful double disc set, so please take the time seriously study this grand work. It will be well worth it, I can assure you.

Tim Brady is perhaps the most ambitious guitarist and composer to emerge from Canada over the past couple of decades.

Review

Andrew Timar, The WholeNote, no 15:2, 1 octobre 2009
The elegiac movement An Infinity of Four with images from the siege of Leningrad was particularly moving.

Critique

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, 25 septembre 2009

Ça aura pris quelques années (Hommage à Rosa Luxembourg remonte à 2005), mais voici enfin que ce projet de Tim Brady sort sur disque. L’idée consistait à utiliser divers événements (historiques ou anecdotiques) du 20e siècle pour réunir quatre œuvres de Brady en un concert alliant musique, vidéo et narration. L’aspect narratif paraît faible, un prétexte tout au plus, mais musicalement, c’est ce que Brady a produit de plus solide avec Bradyworks depuis… Revolutionary Songs, peut-être? Quatre œuvres (10 à 30 minutes chacunes) alliant musique de chambre contemporaine et guitare électrique. Strumming est un petit bijou de folie bornée, très intense. Et le Double Quartet en hommage à Chostakovitch est du grand Brady: complexe, systématique, élégant, à cheval entre les genres. Cet album est publié en disque double CD+DVD — le DVD présente les mêmes versions studios, accompagnées des vidéos de Martin Messier et Oana Suteu présentées lors des concerts — ce n’est pas un enregistrement live et on n’y voit pas les musiciens.

… musicalement, c’est ce que Brady a produit de plus solide avec Bradyworks depuis… Revolutionary Songs.

Guide Disques

Réjean Beaucage, Voir, 24 septembre 2009

Avec ce CD/DVD, le guitariste Tim Brady frappe un grand coup. Il célèbre le 20e anniversaire de son ensemble, Bradyworks, et invite le Quatuor Molinari, mais c’est nous qui avons le cadeau: un excellent CD et de superbes vidéos (pas très genre MusiquePlus). Il prouve encore une fois qu’il est l’un des compositeurs québécois contemporains les plus intéressants. Grâce à cet alliage de musiques contemporaine, électroacoustique et «pop» (plutôt en sous-texte), il démontre qu’il a vu passer le 20e siècle et qu’il en a assimilé les enseignements. Pour rendre hommage dans une même pièce à John Lennon, Charlie Christian, Rosa Luxemburg et Dmitri Chostakovitch, il faut de l’imagination.

Il prouve encore une fois qu’il est l’un des compositeurs québécois contemporains les plus intéressants.

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