Taylor Brook (b. 1985) is a composer based in New York City. His music draws on a broad range of forms and styles, having composed chamber music for ensembles of all kinds, with and without electronics, as well as music for art film, installation and dance. Although not exclusively so, his music is often extremely microtonal, drawing the microtonal intervals from just intonation (untempered intervals) while eschewing the standardized twelve-tone equal temperament of the piano.
Taylor’s music has been performed across Canada, the United States and Europe by soloists and ensembles such as the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Quatour Bozzini, Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne, Danielle Cumming, Joshua Modney (Wet Ink/Mivos Quartet/Talea Ensemble) and Mira Benjamin (Quatour Bozzini/Pôrtmanto Ensemble). His solo violin work, Vocalise, has won first prize from the SOCAN Young Composers Awards as well as the Lee Ettelson Award from Composers Inc. of San Francisco. This work has been played over twenty times throughout North America as well as in Italy, England and Norway since its premiere in 2009. Taylor participated in the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne FORUM 2010, composing a new work to accompany the Nathalie Bujold film Les trains où vont les choses; this piece was awarded the Prix Public and second prize from the jury. Taylor has also won a number of SOCAN Young Composers Awards for various pieces over the past three years.
Taylor studied composition and orchestration primarily with Denys Bouliane, Luc Brewaeys, Brian Cherney, Sean Ferguson, John Rea and Ana Sokolovic. Taylor completed a master’s degree in composition with Brian Cherney at McGill University, composing an ambitious new work for solo clarinet with 18 musicians and live electronics as his thesis. This work, Mitya, received its premiere in April 2010 with Mark Bradley of Portmantô Ensemble as soloist and Denys Bouliane conducting the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. Taylor spent January–July 2011 in Brussels, Belgium, to study composition with Luc Brewaeys with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, where he composed his first work for large orchestra and participated in the Acanthes, the music festival in Metz, France, and the Norwegian-Canadian New Music Conference . In 2008 he spent two months of intensive study in Kolkata, India, with classical Hindustani musician Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, studying raga performance in the North Indian tradition on the chaturangui, a 22-stringed non-tempered slide guitar. While in Kolkata, Taylor also received basic tabla and vocal instruction in the Hindustani tradition.
Taylor Brook’s works have been recorded for publication by Quatour Bozzini (à chacun sa miniature) and the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (FORUM 2010). Taylor has also self-published and recorded his forty-five minute work, Stuart Lake, for trumpet and offstage instruments with Craig Pederson on trumpet and Isak Goldschneider on clarinet.