by John Stropes and Justin Segel Joseph Spence is an artistic paradox. His music is powerful, captivating, and unique, yet he has never composed a song. He lives in the Bahamas, but describing him as a “Bahamian guitarist” is both inadequate and misleading. Spence has drawn upon the Bahamian … [Read more...] about Joseph Spence
Titles/Tunings Database — Phase 2
In the 1970s, it seemed like if you knew about dropped D tuning, open G and open D, and maybe even open C and DADGAD, you had alternate tunings covered. Today, with the great profusion of alternate tunings and the great music that has sprung from them, they have become a mainstay of contemporary … [Read more...] about Titles/Tunings Database — Phase 2
“Some additional thoughts …” on “Aerial Boundaries,” “Hot Type,” “Rickover’s Dream,” and “Ragamuffin” — now available online.
This series of essays — written in 1995 and 1996, following the publication of the first extensively-edited transcriptions of compositions by Michael Hedges — provides further background information and analysis of these groundbreaking compositions. “Imagine This!”Some additional thoughts on … [Read more...] about “Some additional thoughts …” on “Aerial Boundaries,” “Hot Type,” “Rickover’s Dream,” and “Ragamuffin” — now available online.
In composition and in performance, Michael Hedges invests his music with thought — thoughtful consideration of the musical import of his choices. That's why we find his music fascinating. As we listen to it more closely and as we try to perform it ourselves, we can understand the intelligence that … [Read more...] about Little Gremlins
One thing I've learned from years of teaching is that a person who has information about a composition has a very powerful resource. Information about a piece (imagery, details) allows a performer to jump up to a new level. After all, the imagery that can be expressed though music is part of its … [Read more...] about Submarine Harmonics
A Fun New Way to Play the Guitar!
Working with the music of Michael Hedges is a great joy. The more you know, the more you realize how much more there is to know. When I transcribed the music for the book Michael Hedges/Rhythm, Sonority, Silence, I suspected, but did not fully realize, the significance of a technique that cropped up … [Read more...] about A Fun New Way to Play the Guitar!
No survey of fingerstyle guitar can ignore the enormous contribution made by Michael Hedges. Like Leo Kottke a decade earlier, Hedges’ creative genius has taken the guitar a giant step forward. His composition “Aerial Boundaries,” which was released in 1984 (Windham Hill Records, WD-1032), is a … [Read more...] about Imagine This!
In 1985 I began working with Michael Hedges to notate his music, and in 1990 I offered the first class to an eager group of students at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. These students were, in fact, a focus group, testing the notation to see if it was up to the task. It soon became apparent … [Read more...] about right-hand string-stopping