Michael Brook

Michael Brook

Canadian innovative guitarist, inventor, music producer and film composer.
Country: Canada

Michael Brook - Canadian Guitarist, Inventor, Music Producer, and Film Composer

Michael Brook is a Canadian guitarist and innovator known for his contributions to various genres as a musician, inventor, music producer, and film composer. Throughout his career, he has collaborated, recorded, and performed with numerous well-known musicians, including John Hassell, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Edge, Robert Fripp, David Sylvian, Bryan Ferry, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Djivan Gasparyan, and others. One of his notable inventions is the "Infinite Guitar," an electric guitar with infinite sustain, which he frequently uses in his recordings.

Biography of Michael Brook

Michael Brook was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. In his youth, he had a passion for photography. After playing guitar in several bands and reaching what he considered a musical "ceiling," he decided to further explore his passion for music. Brook enrolled in York University to study electronic music, psychology in art, and electronics. The educational program also included the study of the influence of African music on American music.

During his time at York University, Brook became close with faculty members from the Department of Eastern Music, including trumpet player and composer Jon Hassell, minimalist composer La Monte Young, and classical Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath. In the fall of 1976, he participated in the recording of John Hassell's debut album, "Vernal Equinox," as one of the sound engineers. In the early 1980s, he performed as a musician in Hassell's ensemble.

With the increase in creative opportunities following the nomination of a documentary featuring Brook's music for an Oscar in 1993, he relocated to Los Angeles and settled in the Hollywood Hills area, where he set up his home studio, La Lavanderia.

In his younger years, Brook played in various Toronto-based blues-rock bands, aiming to play as fast as possible. However, he eventually developed a dislike for this style of play, considering it excessively gymnastic and soulless. During his performances in the late 1970s with the band The Everglades, he was known for playing non-stop between songs.

Brook's interest in vibrato and ornamentation, commonly found in Arabic and Indian music, and his desire to incorporate these elements into his playing, along with the dissatisfaction with available equipment to increase sustain, led him to embark on technical experiments during the recording of his debut album, "Hybrid." This resulted in the creation of the "Infinite Guitar," and ornamented passages became a fundamental element of Michael Brook's playing style.

Unlike typical rock music guitar recording techniques that involve amplifiers, speakers, microphones, or electronic simulators, Michael Brook does not use them. He connects his instrument directly to the mixer through a preamplifier only to raise the signal level, thus achieving the sound of the guitar itself, rather than the amplifier.