Music I Am #49 , Amy Brandon, composer

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

Not sure. I think working with sound was what I always wanted but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I was always interested in sound, in particular I would stay underwater for long periods of time when swimming as a kid because of how it sounded.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Being a good colleague.

Two ways you stay motivated:

Capturing what I hear internally and transporting it externally is always an interesting challenge, and what primarily motivates me. Financially maintaining myself in the arts is also a challenge and has it’s own interesting aspects.

Latest Project :

I recently was nominated for a JUNO award (Canadian Grammy equivalent) for my cello concerto, Simulacra*. This piece will be released with an album of chamber works called Lysis – (including my 10-string guitar piece Intermountainous) – on August 16, 2024 on New Focus Recordings.








What inspired it:

Simulacra is essentially a sonification of my own personal struggles with human identity. Like many others, I’ve often felt intense pressure to alter aspects of my fundamental self in order to do basic things like work and interact with others. I express this in the piece by making the timbre of the cello a metaphor for this kind of self- inhibition – it travels from one timbral extreme to another from the narrowest of timbral ranges to the fullest.

Who’s on it:

The brilliant cellist Jeffrey Zeigler is the soloist, I wrote the piece for him. Karl Hirzer is the conductor and Symphony Nova Scotia the orchestra. The piece was performed at the Open Waters Festival in 2023.

How do you discover new music?

Usually through research for particular pieces I am writing. I don’t listen to music for pleasure or relaxation, usually.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

Living – composer Pascale Criton

Dead – jazz guitarist Emily Remler

Where can we find you online?



Upcoming Event you’d like to share?

My string quartet Lysis will be performed at the ISCM Festival in the Faroe Islands in June.

JeffZeigler and SymphonyNovaScotia

Cellist Jeff Zeigler, Amy, conductor Karl Hirzer

Music, Open Studios: Music Curated by Pedja Muzijevic, Concert in the 21st Century


















*Simulacra credit to artist is Susan Roston, Nub 2, Photographer is Andrew Rashotte.

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