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Radio ›› Twenty Quarter Inch Jacks

Twenty Quartet Inch Jacks is Tim Brady’s first release on the Ambiance Magnétiques label and with this record Brady moves his work as both a composer and a guitarist into new territory. Well-known for his innovative guitar work, this new CD combines a major new work for 20 guitars with 2 works which make extensive use of sampling and computer sound design.

The title track is a work commissioned by the international theatre festival Les Coups de Théâtre. The commission was for a live performance work for 20 young guitarists lasting 45 minutes, but soon after Brady began composing the work it became clear that the recorded version of the work was taking on a life of its own. Using no electronics or sampling, and limiting himself to one guitar (a Steinberger GM4T), one fuzz box, a volume pedal and a slide, Brady set out to create a work that explored of the fundamental character of the guitar while creating a new sense of what a guitar ensemble could sound like. Simple picking, big chords, noisey strings, bluesy string bends, open string pull-offs and percussive attacks are the elements that combine to create striking musical textures and evocative atmospheres. The work divides into 8 sections, but is meant to be played and listened to as a single, continuos piece. The human voice (Brady’s on the CD) is also an integral part of the sound world, as the theatrical nature of the work bridges the gap between pure music and live performance.

The human voice play an important role in the 2 other pieces on the CD. Music Box Bell Curves (“Hello Paris!”) was commissioned by Ina-GRM for the 2001 Radio-France festival Présence in Paris. Using dozens of samples of small toy instruments, which he has collected for 40 years, and samples from a “sonic party” (where these instrumenta are played by his friends), Brady created a dramatic tape part that frames a heavily processed live guitar part.

The last work on the CD grew out of a commission by the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow (Scotland). In 2001, Brady created an installation piece entitled “public space/private music,” using samples of Sauchiehall Street and sounds from the CCA building. After the installation the sound of these samples stuck in his mind and he eventually re-worked the samples into a larger piece for guitar and tape. The simple guitar part creates a sense of dialogue with the textures of the tape, moving to a rhythmic climax and resolving to the quiet sounds of a workman whistling a hint of a tune as he sweeps the floor at the CCA. The guitar returns, playing quiet harmonics as the sounds of the streets of Glasgow bring the work to a close.

Track Listing

    • 1
      Twenty Quarter Inch Jacks (2002)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
      30m31s
      • 1
        Opening
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        4m45s
      • 2
        Waves
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        3m06s
      • 3
        Lassus
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        4m42s
      • 4
        Metal
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        3m11s
      • 5
        Harmonic Fields
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        6m49s
      • 6
        An Alphabet of Guitarists
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        1m38s
      • 7
        Big Chords
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        4m15s
      • 8
        Closing
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
        2m05s
    • 9
      Music Box Bell Curves (“Hello Paris!”) (2001)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
      14m08s
    • 10
      Sauchiehall Street (2001)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0 (44 kHz • 16 bits)
      8m11s
Total duration: 52m50s