Saturday, October 18, 2008

Remembering Michael Hedges

I was around 10 yrs old (or younger) when I first heard of this amazing guitar music. I was sitting on the stairway in my hometown province in one of the islands in the Philippines, when my uncles played this concert on laser disc. When I heard the music, it overwhelmed me instantly. I never imagined a guitar could be played that way - outrageous! in full abandon and enjoyment, and reckless passion! At ten years old, those words were not in my vocabulary. But I felt it, the music spoke to me. It was an unusual experience. How universal, a music can reach out to a little kid that was me, in the hidden provinces in Asia, and opened the whole world of music imagination to me.
The guitarist, Michael Hedges, was born in Sacramento,CA. He was performing at some cafe at Palo Alto when Will Ackerman (another good musician, I still listen to him) signed him up a recording contract with Windham Hill records. When I was in my teens, my uncles settled in America and when we got the chance to talk they told me we're all going to watch Michael Hedges in concert when I reach America. Unfortunately I was too late. Michael Hedges died from a car accident in 1997, he was driving home from San Francisco International Airport. He was 43.
Then, I watched the movie August Rush, there was one scene when August's hands started hammering the guitar, and I told myself, that's Michael Hedges style! As I am a fan, it was kind of hard for me to accept somebody playing like him in a big movie, therefore I slightly ignored the talent behind the guitar playings (which was Kaki King). Only later I learned from the August Rush soundtrack that it was indeed Micheal Hedges' song "Ritual Dance" as performed by Kaki King and she did it so much justice.

Remembering Michael Hedges, these are some music clips that I so fondly watched him play for more than 50 times in my childhood years, now available in YouTube.

Aerial Bounderies

This song spoke to me then, song goes, "you can be a dreamer, you can make your dream come true, let imagination lead, reality will follow through..." as a kid i didnt know how that would work, but because he said it's ok to dream, so then i continue dreaming. and yes i dreamt of being a guitarist like him, and never happened. but i did play very little guitar, and eventually some (just some) piano to which I chanelled my creativity during my teens. And if there's one way to play, it should be with enjoyment and feelings.

Here's another Michael Hedge's song Ritual Dance as performed by Kaki King in August Rush.

Now that I'm watching his various clips in Youtube, I found out he's a really funny guy. How great would have been to watch him live. Well, here's one more clip, he's enjoying his own version of "Come Together" by the Beatles. Played at 1987. To the great Michael Hedges, just wanna say thanks and sorry I was late. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best Damn Guitar teacher on the planet. Saw him at Carnegie Hall w/ Leo Kottke in the early 90's. I've been listenibg to his music and working on the covers since 1984. How do you fill a void like that?
Matt Scott -