24 Frames — Trance
Tim Brady, Martin Messier
… immense, assured and accomplished work — The WholeNote, Canada
Massive booming, enigmatic suspensions, evocative plateaus where the possibilities of a treated source are multiplied until the starting sound grows into a monster capable of killing, but also striking points of marvelous resonance, stunning us for a few seconds. — The Squid’s Ear, USA
“electric guitarist Tim Brady… (an) exuberant one-man ensemble…” — The New York Times
24 Frames — Trance is composer and guitarist Tim Brady’s 16th CD, and the second to include a companion DVD, a document of his continuing multi-media collaboration with video artist Martin Messier.
24 Frames — Trance is a music of hypnotic states, of altered guitars, of 6-string alchemy, of virtuoso performances and compositional subtleties.
24 Frames — Trance is the first release of a planned series of 3 CD+DVD releases, creating a large-scale work for solo guitar and other media, with almost 3 hours of new music by one of the most influential composer/guitarists working today.
Trance — driving rhythms and a stunning solo melodic improvisation, over an orchestra of up to 35 electric guitars
Sul A — an intense and mysterious soundscape, focussing on the sound of a single string (A string) to build its dramatic structure
Switch — 5 short movments, each exploring a different approach to solo guitar and electronics
O is for Ostinato — relentless arpeggios combined with simple electronics create an Escher-like swirl of harmony, pulse and timbre.
Invisible Quartet — music in slow motion, music of the spheres, based on a radical re-working of a single sample of a glissando by a string quartet in dialogue with heavily processed electric guitar textures.
57 Ways of Playing Guitar — the largest work on the CD, in 4 sections, moving from simple solo guitar triads to complex electro-acoustic invention to jazz/rock inspired melodic mayhem.
This item is also included in the 24 Frames — Scatter + Trance box set (AM 905).
- Composer(s): Tim Brady
- Performer(s): Tim Brady
- Filmmaker(s)/Video artist(s): Martin Messier
- Cover image: Tim Brady
- Graphic design: Fabrizio Gilardino
CD + DVD-Video (AM 203)
- 124 Frames: Trance (2007), 8:51electric guitar and fixed medium
- 224 Frames: Sul
A(2007), 9:03electric guitar and fixed medium
- 324 Frames: Switch (2006), 10:29electric guitar and fixed medium
- 3Seconds, 1:32
- 4Liquid, 2:01
- 5Leaps, 2:14
- 6Singularity, 2:15
- 7Melismatic, 2:34
- 824 Frames: O is for Ostinato (2007-10), 6:09electric guitar and fixed medium
- 924 Frames: Invisible Quartet (2008), 9:53electric guitar and fixed medium
- 1024 Frames: 57 Ways of Playing Guitar (2007), 15:20electric guitar and fixed medium
- Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
- AM 203
- UCC 771028120321
- Total duration: 60:12
- Sympathique case
- 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
- 60 g
On the web
Some recommended items
In the press
In a recent Guitar Player feature, Tim Brady jokes about the fact that Brahms never wrote stuff for electric guitar, ironically justifying a relentless quest for the instrument’s potential residency in the empire of commonly accepted “serious” music. This double set — part of an ongoing series — is an intriguing proposition in that sense. On a compact disc lie six of the twenty-four Frames; on the DVD the same compositions (“for electric guitar, electronics, samples, multitrack technology and video”) are accompanied by Martin Messier’s experimental imagery, which comprise computerized abstraction and disfigurement of relatively normal films, such as a woman walking with difficulty in a snowy town.
Brady recorded all the parts himself, a herculean task that — in his words — sometimes requires years just to find the right tone for a short cut. Unluckily, the artistic consequence of this sort of agony is only partially agreeable. Chilly linear materials and pitilessly pitch-transposed counterpoints summon up a combination of frozen heaven and dissonant hell, ultimately negating a definite position to the work. Think of a motorized King Crimson zombie to have an idea of the totally bloodless interlocking of different lines, sporadically escorted by peripheral undercurrents. Angular arpeggios, overdriven alien themes, plucked clusters and the obsessive repetitiveness generated by dozens of superimposed axes are perceived as rather conventional anomalies that don’t enlarge our database for this field, resulting interesting in spurts — and utterly unemotional.
Where the Canadian really excels is in the creation of atmospheric sonorities and breathtaking milieus. Massive booming, enigmatic suspensions, evocative plateaus where the possibilities of a treated source are multiplied until the starting sound grows into a monster capable of killing, but also striking points of marvelous resonance, stunning us for a few seconds. Too bad that those dreams are often broken by the recurrence of a cerebral kind of assault that situates the record in the infinite archive of “over-average-yet-unmemorable” releases, in total disproportion to the incontestable compositional effort.
It’s oddly fascinating to hear distorted, Van Halen-like guitar riffs deconstructed into tightly wound electroacoustic compositions. Lacking drums and bass, and trading the grit of rock clubs for the pristine studio, an atmosphere of reverberated coldness pervades this CD/DVD set. Brady is a master technician, creating endless textural variety from layered guitars with time-warping effects, whipping up shimmering walls of electric teardrops. The CD’s tracks reappear on the DVD, accompanied by Messier’s swirling, jittery videos—mostly abstract, but including some manipulated film loops of Montréal scenes, a perfect complement to the music. 8/10
24 Frames is a series of 24 pieces for guitar written over the past few years. 24 Frames: Trance is the first installment in a triptych documenting the whole cycle. This first release is actually part three, featuring the compositions Frame 19 up to Frame 24, all for electric guitar, electronics, and video (by Martin Messier) — hence the CD+DVD format. Messier’s videos are interesting abstract works, though not essential to the music (except perhaps for Frame 24: 57 Ways of Playing Guitar). Brady delivers virtuoso performances and deploys treasures of original techniques. This record puts him (once again) on par with Fred Frith and Nick Didkovsky. 24 Frames: 57 Ways of Playing Guitar in particular makes him worthy of the title of guitar hero. A splendid record that goes straight to the essence of Brady’s aesthetics. I’m eagerly awaiting the other two installments.