Michael Brook (born 1951 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian guitarist, inventor, producer, and film music composer familiar with many disciplines including rock, minimalism and film scores.
"Sleeps With The Fishes" - the first official Michael Brook production — which he engineered as well — was planned initially as a solo effort by the Dutch musician Pieter Nooten, a member of the band Clan Of Xymox. Nooten’s group was signed to 4AD; the label’s founder, Ivo Wats-Russell, was a fan of Michael’s Hybrid album, and it was Ivo's thought to link Michael and Pieter on a specific project. (It was also a Watts-Russell decision to issue Sleeps With The Fishes with collaborative billing for both Nooten and Brook.) Beyond jump-starting Michael’s production career, the album led to his signing with 4AD as a solo artist.
The album was tracked at Blackwing Studios in the U.K., where many other 4AD artists had recorded, notably Ivo’s blue chip group, This Mortal Coil. Unfortunately, Sleeps With the Fishes never found its deserved audience, possibly owing to its appearance in an autumn release schedule dominated by, among other mega-titles, a new Michael Jackson lp.
Michael Brook is most famous perhaps for his sonic contribution to U2's multimillion-selling 1987 album The Joshua Tree in the form of his invention, the Infinite guitar; he is also known for Peter Murphy's 1995 album Cascade. Brook is a specialist in timbre and texture. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996 for his production work and as a co-artist on Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's album Night Song. Another notable collaboration was Sleeps With The Fishes with Clan Of Xymox member Pieter Nooten (4AD, 1987). In 2006, the solo album RockPaperScissors was released, with an ambient version to be released January 2007. He will be touring Canada and the US late January/early February.
He toured as a member of the Sylvian and Fripp tour group, with the final concert at the Royal Albert Hall in December 1994 documented on the album Damage. He also opened the concerts with a solo set, featuring the Infinite Guitar with effects and sequencer backing.
Brook breaks many of the 'rules' of electric guitar. He does not use voiced guitar amplifiers, but instead plugs directly into a preamp to broadcast the sound using a variety of effects and processors, many of which he has pioneered. Among his inventions are the Infinite Guitar, played by The Edge of U2, a guitar outfitted with a feedback transducer to produce non-decaying sustain of any note. This design has been replicated by commercial devices such as an EBow and Fernandes Sustainer-equipped guitars. (An example of this sound may be heard in the opening of U2's "With or Without You" from The Joshua Tree.)
He has produced albums for Mary Margaret O'Hara, Julia Fordham, Jane Siberry, U. Srinivas, Youssou N'Dour, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Edge, Balloon, The Pogues, Jorane, Hukwe Zawose, and others. Brook has also written for a number of film soundtracks including the music for Albino Alligator, Americanese, Mission: Impossible II and the new eco-documentarys, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and Who Killed the Electric Car?.
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