You need flash!
no cover -  

Michael Hedges

acoustic guitar instrumental new age guitar virtuoso

Michael Adam Hedges (December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997) was an American composer and acoustic guitarist born in Sacramento, CA. He studied classical guitar at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential solo acoustic guitarists of all time. His music features his own unique performing style which features harmonics, fingerpicking, knocking and slapping.

Michael Hedges was a conservatory composition major who applied his classically trained musical background in combination with radical innovation to “reinvent” the steel string acoustic guitar. He combined many unusual techniques on the acoustic guitar with a wide range of musical styles, and was also considered a dynamic performer in concert - in short, a “Paganini” of the guitar.

He is known for extensive use in several pieces of two handed tapping techniques (nearly a contrapuntal style of multiple voices). He used the fingers of his right (typically picking) hand to slap harmonic "chords" at the 12th, 7th or 5th fret (or elsewhere). He made use of right hand hammer-ons, particularly on bass notes, and often used the left hand for melodic or rhythmic hammer-ons and pull offs, as well as unusual strummings, that played, as mentioned, independent voices to the right hand. These techniques tended to convert the guitar into a quasi-keyboard like instrument for certain musical purposes. He also made extensive use of string dampening as employed in classical guitar, and was known to insist strongly on the precise duration of sounds and silences in his pieces. Other facets to his playing were percussive slapping on the guitar body and extensive use of artificial harmonics. He also played guitar-variants like the Harp Guitar (an instrument with additional bass strings that Hedges used to play Bach's Prelude to Cello Suite #1 in G Major in its intended key), and the Trans-Trem Guitar.

Michael Hedges was discovered by William Ackerman who heard him performing in a Palo Alto cafe (the former Varsity Theater) and immediately signed him to a recording contract (1980). For several years Hedges toured and performed in concert with Ackerman. He also appeared on several of Ackerman's albums. In turn William Ackerman produced Hedge's first two albums.

The first two records Michael Hedges made - Breakfast in the Field and Aerial Boundaries - were milestones for the acoustic guitar. He then branched out into singing and performing more popular forms of music, although he would periodically make a return to more guitar-centred music. His record Oracle won the 1998 Grammy for Best New Age Album. Hedges was in fact quite a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, percussion, tin whistle, harmonica, and flute, among others on his albums. Bassist Michael Manring contributed to many of Michael's records.

Many acoustic guitarists claim a very broad range of influences and will not fit into any genre, but this was truer of Hedges than of any other. His musical education was largely in modern 20th century composition. He listened to Leo Kottke, Bruce Cockburn, Martin Carthy, John Martyn, John Fahey, and the Beatles, but his approach to composition owed much to Stravinsky, Varèse, Webern, and experimental composers such as Morton Feldman. He saw himself as a composer who played guitar, rather than a guitarist who composed music. He was often categorized as New Age due to his association with the Windham Hill record label. Somewhat in reaction to this, he would describe his music as "Heavy Mental", "New Edge", ""Thrash Acoustic", "Deep Tissue Gladiator Guitar" or "Savage Myth Guitar," amongst other terms.

Hedges was killed in a car accident in 1997 at the age of 43. His unfinished last recordings were brought to completion in the album Torched, with the help of his friends David Crosby and Graham Nash.


Michael Hedges 8744baba35ab411e8e8cb6485b5d705e Michael Hedges 4f433b7f1f904bb9a398ad486e814601 Michael Hedges ce40c5b7d26747488b28bf8e986de5b4 Michael Hedges 53c04d75c1484e669daecdfb1b2e1225 Michael Hedges 7295c41a40384e1990faf94879021998 Michael Hedges 14e800dec231472db3463c5be15c92fa Michael Hedges f0c4d6f2f4cf48dab6bfabe8094b02db Michael Hedges b22cad9704884f5c84dc25b81ef7b61d Michael Hedges 3619f35d04a44c44b1824c326573a7d4 Michael Hedges ecb536cbabfb46249a89ee1544bebb06 Michael Hedges 278d2f338ca81735061423b1e51a367e Michael Hedges f3d289aba96d4a56bd5f0a5486872533 Michael Hedges 73471e8cc4e34679925a1d5db3ae5c16 Michael Hedges 7fd4a853f370433bbf32b2926df6418d Michael Hedges 0ac0e84967c74b43809c76185a0854c6 Michael Hedges aa642c3999314879956579c43f0e10a6 Michael Hedges 64046ae3092a4acf91df02ac3ff897c3 Michael Hedges 9d2964593eb547a4b855c9adcfb5763c Michael Hedges 30556af983344ea9ad32cdf12de06ec7 Michael Hedges 8e4c44558ec0463f81ee50f35aa6e774 Michael Hedges 1fb4e40b42384a8197084c862afbd375 Michael Hedges de1d58be1a964833aab1bb056fd13914 Michael Hedges 02d41660282d483a9228f0b73e2e4720 Michael Hedges 2bd7f0bfbbe94342b1c69704fcf7fd55 Michael Hedges 39685d7d0dcc48bfb457f9b3151975bc Michael Hedges b8149dd3f1e949d3bd546d4f2e648767 Michael Hedges 5a62994be0464637aea2a9a661389de9 Michael Hedges 725a97ed01b34b12835bc06a3493b93f Michael Hedges 40134c261e34491194eea0e97ba28aad Michael Hedges 6392e0bf856b47d8a5507612f01f2aec Michael Hedges 7ccb985664154543ad7bb5865970e0b1 Michael Hedges fd249f81792b4c34beb086395477e704 Michael Hedges f5ba56373f0e49a3a0fbbe067c7cc4d7 Michael Hedges e7f8527f61b040299e623cb8e7c92c02
TOPlist