Composer and guitarist Amy Brandon’s pieces have been described as ‘… mesmerizing’ (Musicworks Magazine), “Otherworldly and meditative … [a] clashing of bleakness with beauty …” (Minor Seventh) and ‘.. an intricate dance of ancient and futuristic sounds’ (Miles Okazaki).
Her 2020-21 events included a cello concerto for Jeff Zeigler with Symphony Nova Scotia, as well as chamber works for KIRKOS Ensemble (Ireland), Exponential Ensemble (NYC) and guitarist Libby Myers, and installations and performances at Winnipeg New Music Festival. the Canadian New Music Network, Women from Space and Sound Symposium. She has received Canadian and international composition awards and honourable mentions from the Leo Brouwer Guitar Composition Competition (Grand Prize 2019), Central European String Quartet (‘Most Innovative’ 2018), and ArtsNS (Emerging Artist Award 2019). In 2020, she will also be composer-in-residence at the Hamilton Guitar Festival, a special guest at the Buffalo Guitar Festival and will conduct the Upstream Improvising Ensemble for their 30th Anniversary concert.
Her works have been performed by Ekmeles, Pro Coro, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Yumi Suehiro, Chartreuse Trio, Zeehelden Quartet, Emma Rush, Dale Sorensen, and Sara Schabas, at venues including Chorus Festival (London, UK), National Sawdust (NYC), Trinity College (Dublin). Cerisy Castle (France), 21C Festival Toronto, and the MISE_EN Festival.
Her 2016 solo guitar and electronics album Scavenger was nominated for regional awards including Music Nova Scotia and ECMAs in 2017/18. She has performed in Canada, the USA, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the UK and at several festivals including the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, the Guitar Now Festival, Halifax Jazz Festival Spring Series, New Music Edmonton, Something Else!, the International Society for Improvised Music, BeAST FeAST, centre d’experimentation musicale and the Open Waters Experimental Music Festival. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre, the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, PIVOT and a composer participant in Interplay with the Vancouver Chamber Choir.
In addition to performance and composition, she writes and presents academic work concerning music cognition, virtual reality, improvisation and the guitar. Holding degrees in jazz guitar performance and composition, Amy is currently completing an interdisciplinary PhD in music cognition at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has presented her work at conferences in Australia, USA, Switzerland, Hungary, the UK and at Berklee College of Music, Boston and is the founder and organizer of the new music festival and academic conference The 21st Century Guitar.