Modern Composition

Andy Hamilton, The Wire, no 206, 1 février 2004

Canadian composer/guitarist Tim Brady crosses the genres of electroacoustic composition, dance scores and improv. Based in Montréal, he’s drawn more to New York downtown than French musique concrète tradition, though Music Box Bell Curves on Twenty Quarter Inch Jacks was commissioned by Ina-GRM. That piece and Sauchiehall Street on the same disc use the now traditional if inflexible technology of live performer plus tape. The title track originated as instrumental music theatre for 20 young guitarists, but this is a multitrack studio recording by the composer. Sadly, Brady’s brand of domesticated Jimi Hendrix offers technical mastery without too many fresh ideas. Though there’s a raw energy to the saxophone quartet title track of Unison Rituals, performed by Quasar, this disc of compositions mostly for his ensemble Bradyworks is no more inspiring, and you wonder whether the composer really deserves his academic support network.