The music released through the Ambiances Magnétiques label covers a wide spectrum: extreme noise music by Tétreaul, all kinds of improvised music and jazz, beautiful songs by someone like Letarte, but also modern ‘classical’ music. Both two new cds belong to the last category.
Canadian composer and guitarplayer Brady offers two of his new compositions on his new cd. Playing Guitar: Symphony #1 is a work in 5 movements, two movements being subdivided in two parts. If you aks me what is ‘classical’ about his work then it surely is the symphonic nature of this piece. We hear Tim Brady on electric guitar accompanied by the 15-piece Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. Besides there is an important role for live electronics and sampler played by Brady. Part 1 is a very driven - Louis Andriessen like - piece. The second movement is dense and at a much lower pace. The third movement is more or less completely electronic. Like in movement 1 we hear in the second part of the third movement the complete ensemble playing a very dynamic hammering intersection, that continues in movement 4. The first part of the 5th movement is a beautiful solo piece for Brady on guitar. In the second part the music becomes very complex and culminates in a climax fading out with quiet electronic sounds in the last few seconds. It’s very rich and engaging work. At the core of this recording is the live recording a the piece in june 2003. In the process of mixing and editing guitar and sampler parts were added. The second compositions Frame 1 - Resonance is performed by his ensemble Bradyworks, consisting here only of two players: Pamela Reiner on piano and Tim Brady himself on guitar and treatments. For this composition Brady was inspired by a thought of a friend who imagined a piece for piano and guitar where “the guitar would act like a big, electronic resonator for the piano part, becoming a huge electroacustic sustain pedal”. Again a more than interesting work by Brady.
On Portrait Montréal everything is in four: four compositions from four different composers, played by four musicians, the Quatuor Bozzini. We hear the following works: Pulau Dewata (by Claude Vivier), Quatuor à cordes II (Jean Lesage), Daydream Mechanics V (Michael Oesterle) and A New Song of many faces for in These Times (Malcolm Goldstein). String quartet Quatuor Bozzini plays music from classical and romantic times, but have a great love for modern music. For their debut cd they concentrate on modern music from their hometown Montréal. What strikes me first listening to this cd is the enthousiastic and daring playing by this quartet. Pulau Dewata is played here in an arrangment by Michael Oesterle. It was Vivier’s tribute to balinese music. The post-minimal composition Daydream Mechanics V by Oesterle also is inspired on folk music. Though not asiatic music this time. Now we hear echoes of eastern Europe. Jean Lesage on the other hand stays close to the western classical tradition. He plays with this idiom with great skill and dedication. Malcolm Goldstein is not only a composer but also a well-known improvisor on violin. So it should not wonder that his composition gives room for improvisation. As a result this is the most vivid piece on this cd. First of all this cd introduces us to a great and ‘fresh’ string quartet and secondly it offers a well-balanced portrait of modern composed music from Canada.