After graduating from Berklee he immersed himself in the Chicago music and art scene working with musicians as well as spoken word, video, and performance artists, culminating in several performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chicago Cultural Center. He also performed, collaborated, and toured nationally with several bands including theMDR led by world renowned drummer/composer Matt Walker (Morrisey, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Filter) as well as critically acclaimed orchestral pop group Canasta.
Byrnes has also composed and conducted a number of large electric guitar ensemble works partially inspired by the work of Glenn Branca. Brendan is a graduate of Branca’s guitar orchestra having performed in New York, New Jersey, and Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for Symphony No. 13 “Hallucination City”
While pursuing his MFA at Cal Arts, Byrnes studied privately with composer/saxophonist Ulrich Krieger (Lou Reed, Lee Ranaldo) and Just Intonation pioneer Wolfgang Von Schweinitz and focused on the study of microtonal, xenharmonic, and just intonation music. In addition to the electronically infused Micropangaea album, Byrnes wrote a number of pieces for acoustic instruments in alternative tuning systems. In 2012 “The Plain of Jars”, a piece for 2 microtonal guitars co-written with with Alex Wand, won 2nd place in the Untwelve International Composition contest. His band, ILEVENS uses custom guitars, bass, and synths to perform in the 22 Equal Divisions per Octave (22 EDO) tuning system, and is currently active in Los Angeles.