Tim Brady's Quartet plays with Upstream's Guitar Ensemble
Tim Brady conducting 30 Guitar players! March 19 in Halifax
Nick Fraser on drums Sept. 30, 2016

Workshop with Tim Brady

Room 406 (MacAloney Room) Dal Arts Centre, 6101 University Ave.
$10.00 includes $5.00 discount to Instruments of Happiness concert March 19 at 8 PM
Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Upstream Music Association is proud to offer a Composition Masterclass featuring celebrated composer / guitarist Tim Brady.

One of Canada’s leading new music composers, and named by Guitar Player Magazine as one of the top guitarists leading the instrument into the 21st century, Tim Brady will discuss his diverse approaches to composing, with a special emphasis on writing for the electric guitar and approaches to integrating improvisation within through-composed structures. 

His electric guitar quartet Instruments of Happiness are touring Canada supporting their new recording, performing works by a broad selection of contemporary Canadian composers, including Emily Hall, Scott Godin, Maxime McKinley, René Lussier, Jordan Nobles, Gordon Fitzel as well as by Tim Brady. 

Their first recording from 2016 on the American label Starkland Records has been nominated as one of the top classical recordings of the year by the Music Times.

They will be performing on Sunday March 19th at 8pm at the Lillian Piercey Hall at the Maritime Conservator of Performing Arts. 

Additionally, and very excitingly,  Tim Brady will be conducting the Halifax Upstream Guitar Ensemble, featuring some of our city’s top guitarists including Scott MacMillan, Geordie Haley, Jeff Torbert, Al Sutherland, Ross Burns, Phil Sedore, Tyler Messick, Patrick Healey, Seamus Erksine, Jake Hanlon, Sam Dyson, Daniel MacCormick, Evan Syliboy, Robert Drisdelle, Rob Tough, Liam Britten, and Fountain School of Performing Arts student Roland Smith. 

The H.U.G.E. will be performing “Signs & Symbols” by Tim Brady and “The Lacemakers” by Montreal’s Joane Hétu.

Instruments of Happiness With Upstream Guitar Ensemble

Maritime Conservatory for Performing Arts - 6199 Chebucto Road, Halifax
$25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors, $15 for Students
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Instruments of Happiness – who we are, why we do it, what we’ve done

I have played guitar for 46 years, electric guitar for 41 years. 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 my favourite guitar manufacturer, the legendary Robert Godin, you can never be sad with a guitar in your hands.  Absolutely, the guitar is an “instrument of happiness”, hence the name for this new ensemble “Instruments of Happiness”.

For almost the past 30 years I have been exploring a new approach to the electric guitar a vision as both a composer and a guitarist.  It is a vision which does not ignore my roots in jazz, blues, rock and noise, but a vision which seeks to extend the boundaries of the electric guitar, incorporating chamber music, electroacoustics, orchestral music, opera, etc. “Instruments of Happiness” is, to a great extent, the next step in this evolution.

Instruments of Happiness is clearly obsessed with the electric guitar.  We only have electric guitar on stage, and we hope guitarists will find some 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.

Instruments of Happiness come in three sizes: the chamber quartet, the 20-piece professional orchestra, and our unique 100-guitar ensemble which combines professional and community players in presenting exceptional, site-specific new music for large ensemble. 

Since its creation in 2014, the group has released its first CD (2016 – on the US Starkland Records), performed sold-out shows of it 100, 20 and 4 guitar ensembles in Montréal, played at the Sound Symposium Festival (St. John’s), the Festival Montréal Baroque, and presented its 100-guitar piece “100 Very Good Reasons Why…” at the Modulus Festival in Vancouver.  Its next 100-guitar event will be presented on April 9, 2017, at the Complexe Desjardins in Montréal.  The event will premiere the newly commissioned piece “Hymne sauvage”, by Montréal composer Alexandre David, a work celebrating the 75th anniversary of the birth of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix.  “100 Very Good Reasons Why…” will also be presented in the summer of 2017 at the Stratford Summer Music Festival.

Tim Brady: composer, guitarist, founder and artistic director



Welcome to Upstream Music!

For over 26 years, the Upstream Music Association has been creating pan-genre orchestral nujazz, beyond classical, cyber world, experimental music improvisation, composition & conduction ensembles, concert series, festivals, recordings, workshops and symposia in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.