Montréal (Québec), 2014
Performer (ensemble)

Instruments of Happiness is the name of the electric guitar ensembles produced by Bradyworks under the direction of Tim Brady. This ambitious project is dedicated to the performance of new music and includes a quartet, a professional orchestra of 20 guitarists and a 100-strong community-focused ensemble.

Instruments of Happiness is clearly obsessed with the electric guitar. We only have electric guitars on stage, and we hope fans of the instrument will find a sympathetic resonance with our concerts. However, we also hope to move beyond the guitar, creating new projects and concerts that are unique, imaginative and passionate musical events, all prepared with the greatest care for the quality of sound and the performance of the music. We hope to be not just guitarists, but musicians. We hope to bring you some happiness with our instruments.

The Quartet: The Instruments of Happiness quartet focuses on chamber music performed by high-level professionals, and is also designed to encourage the creation of new repertoire for this instrumentation. We think the electric guitar is a major contender for new chamber music and can contribute significantly to the future of chamber music in the 21st century.

The Orchestra (20 Professional Guitarists) : The Instruments of Happiness orchestra showcases 20 of Montréal’s most talented professional guitarists. Their début performance in April 2016, Montréal, featured a major commission from musique actuelle visionary Joane Hétu as well as the first performance in 14 years in Montréal of Tim Brady’s prize-winning multi-guitar manifesto: 20 Quarter Inch Jacks. They presented similar events in St. John’s, Halifax and Vancouver in 2016 — 2017.

Instruments of Happiness — 100 guitares électriques: Playing new music on the guitar is fun no matter who you are. Playing new music with 99 other musicians is 99 times more fun! The ensemble includes 20 professional guitarists as well as a group of about 80 guitar enthusiasts of all ages from all corners of Montréal. That makes 100 guitars…or more. This group is all about large-scale, spatialized projects that focus on community participation within highly professional, featured productions.

The début in 2015 was a huge success. They played to an audience of 2,400+ as part of the Montréal/New Music international festival, with a spectacular performance celebrating the 100 th birthday of legendary guitarist and innovator, Les Paul. The public space of the Complex Desjardins was charged with electricity for Tim Brady’s larger-than-life composition 100 Very Good Reasons Why__ which splits the ensemble into 4 different groups around the atrium fountain. Since 2015, three other editions have been featured in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Notes from Artistic Director Tim Brady

“I have played guitar since 1967, electric guitar since 1972. My interest in the instrument really began on February 9th, 1964, when The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time. The guitar (and the music) is created to make us happy, sad, contemplative, ecstatic… frankly, one is never indifferent in the face of music. According to two legendary guitar manufacturers, Robert Godin and Tim Brady (my 2 favourites), you can never be sad with a guitar in your hands. Absolutely. The guitar is an “instrument of happiness,” hence our name.

Since 1984 I have been exploring a new approach to the electric guitar vision as both a composer and a guitarist. It is a vision which does not ignore our roots in jazz, blues, rock and noise, but it is a vision which seeks to extend the boundaries of the electric guitar, incorporating chamber music, electroacoustics, orchestral music, opera, the-sky’s-the-limit…. Instruments of Happiness is simply the next step in this evolution.”