Review of Imaginary Guitars by Tim Brady (1992, Justin Time Records JTR 8440-2)
“For me, Strange Attractors or Imaginary Guitars are just as much contemporary music CDs as the recent works. All this music has been written down, and I’m even selling the scores. Obviously the use of electric guitar is a problem, as usual. It used to disturb me, but now I don’t think twice about it. I think that twenty-five or fifty years from now the electric guitar won’t be associated with rock or jazz as it is today, but simply for what it is: an instrument for playing all kinds of music. Actually, I believe the fact that there’s almost no guitar used in rap will help change people’s perception of it as a typically pop music instrument. Percussion instruments had the same problem in the early twentieth century.”
It’s hard to think of a better comment for this record. Tim Brady’s words describe it perfectly. But I feel like adding something. Compared to the other two previously-recorded discs, this Imaginary Guitar seems to be moving on two different and converging directions: on the one hand, I can feel the composer’s question about how to use better the resources offered by the electric guitar, on the other hand I can feel the guitarist’ s desire to play something different from rock or pop music and its need for affirmation and recognition in other areas. The result is a record that can sound a bit naïve for certain electronic music-related content of the early 1990’s, but at the same time breathing an air of sincere optimism for the futuristic possibilities expressed by the guitar. The Seven Songs, four of Brady’s compositions (Two-part Symphony, Dead of Winter, Time Exposure and Imaginary Guitars), and one composed each by Alain Thibault (Incertitude pourpre), Renee Lussier (Roche noire) and Paul Dolden (The Physics of Seduction. Invocation #1), all composed of 1989 to 1992 and lasting between 7 and 16 minutes. Common denominators: a great sense of research, a charismatic attention about tone and the sound’s masses that an electric guitar can move, a blind faith about pedals, delay, echo box or other electronic materials. All these pieces have a great impact pieces, ideal to play live and certainly fun for the public. Excellent quality recording.
I shall suggest too: