A Phil Brodie Band
Acoustic Guitar & Flute
December 31st 1953 - died December 2nd 1997
Hedges is perhaps the most innovative and kinetic acoustic guitarist
in the history of the instrument, but he is first and foremost a composer
who plays guitar, not a guitarist who plays compositions. His innovative
techniques are a means to an end resulting from the demands of his compositions
rather than conspicuous attempts at virtuosity. Michaels embodiment
of contemporary composer, innovative guitarist, and flamboyant performer
all in one has led to an eclectic style which consistently defies categorization.
I did have a formula, it would be one more limitation that I would have
to deal with, and I'm not in this business to make limitations for myself,"
he said. "I'm in it to get high. That's what happens to me when
I write music." Known for innovations such as simultaneously picking
both ends of the guitar, the Grammy nominee described his own music
as 'heavy mental', 'acoustic thrash', violent acoustic' and 'new
'94 Michael switched from regular flute to alto flute, [above pic 95]
(photo courtesy Ike Gauley).
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Rob Eberhard Young
and many more
Martin D-28, nicknamed Barbara (since shes spent so
much time in bars), with which he has always toured. The first low-strung
guitar Michael toured with was a custom Takamine which they presented
to him as a gift with his name on the headstock while on tour in Japan
in the late 80s. His favorite, however, is a Lowden L-250, although
he has occasionally toured with a Martin J-65M
Michael went through phases with his harp guitars. His first was a 1920s
Dyer configured with a FRAP/autoharp pickup combo. Next, he went to
a Steve Klein electric harp guitar with a TransTrem bridge (heard on
Point A and Point B). Then to a black Dyer with
a FRAP/autoharp pickup comboand rattlesnake tail wedged under
the sub-basses at headstock (essential for good earth tone!). And finally,
back to his first Dyer, but reconfigured with a Sunrise S-1 and two
Barcus Berry magnetic pickups for the sub-basses which he glued straight
to the body.
~ [left] Mike in 1986. [right] Mike in 1994.(photo courtesy Alan Tignanelli).
Michael Hedges / Rhythm, Sonority, Silence. 1995,
Editions, Ltd. Introduction, auto musical biography and original
essays on composition, electronics, and tunings by Michael Hedges. Transcriptions
and study notes by John Stropes. Includes The Naked Stalk,
Eleven Small Roaches, Bensusan, Layover,
Rickovers Dream, and Aerial Boundaries.
Also includes tunings database, discography and explication of notational
symbols & competencies.
Individual transcriptions of Michaels
music are also available from Stropes
Editions, Ltd. Currently available titles include Because
Its There, Hot Type, Ragamuffin,
and The Happy Couple.
Hill in Concert (1986)
The Artists Profile: Michael Hedges (1996)
Hedges began playing guitar and flute as a young man. He attended Phillips
University in his hometown of Enid, Oklahoma, where he studied classical
guitar and composition. He continued his studies earning a degree in
composition from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In 1980, he
enrolled in Stanford University's renowned electronic music department,
and while performing in nearby Palo Alto was spotted by Windham Hill
label founder Will Ackerman, who immediately signed him to a contract;
Hedges' debut LP, Breakfast in the Field, appeared in 1981.
In the years to follow, Hedges began developing his so-called "man-band"
performances, which favored a two-handed tapping style of soloing achieved
with the use of a custom-made, double-necked acoustic/bass guitar. His
affiliation with Windham Hill prompted many to label him a new age musician,
but he bristled at such categorizations and instead offered as "violent
acoustic," "heavy mental," "new edge" and "deep-tissue
gladiator guitar"; he often flirted with rock and pop, and included
in his repertoire acclaimed covers of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling
Stone" and "All Along the Watchtower." With his second
album, 1984's Aerial Boundaries, Hedges earned his first Grammy nomination,
and with the release of 1985's Watching My Life Go By, Windham Hill
agreed to create a subsidiary imprint, Open Air, to further distance
his music from the increasing confinements of the new age tag. With
1987's concert LP Live on the Double Planet, Hedges debuted a pair of
compositions performed on the rare harp-guitar, and on 1990's Taproot,
he delivered his first vocal performance since his 1985 release, Watching
My Life Go By. The record was Hedges' last for four years. He abandoned
instrumental guitar for a period to perform his own vocal tunes and
covers but soon returned to instrumental music and resurfaced with The
Road to Return his music was significantly different vocals were
now the rule, not the exception, and in addition to acoustic guitar,
he played flute, drums, synthesizer, harmonica and electric guitar.
1996's Oracle signified a return to acoustic performance, but the record
was the last to be issued during Hedges' own lifetime on December
2, 1997, his body was discovered near the wreckage of a car accident
just outside of his native Mendocino, California; he was only 43 at
the time of his death. His final recording, the acoustic "Java
Man," appeared on the 1998 compilation The Sounds of the Wood and
Steel. Torched followed a year later.
I play the guitar because it lets me dream out loud.
in the Field (1981)
Aerial Boundaries (1984)
Watching My Life Go By (1985)
Live on the Double Planet (1987)
The Road to Return (1994)
The Best of Michael Hedges (2000)
Philip Aaberg - Out of the Frame (1979)
William Ackerman - Past Light (1983) Guitar
William Ackerman - Windham Hill Retrospective
David Crosby - Oh Yes I Can (1989) Guitar,
Arranger, Vocals, Guitar Arrangements
Crosby, Stills, Nash &... - Crosby, Stills
& Nash [Box Set] (1991) Guitar, Vocals (bckgr)
Crosby, Stills & Nash - After the Storm (1994)
Bob Dylan - May Your Song Always Be Sung: The...
Mike Mainieri - Come Together: Guitar Tribute
to... (1995) Guitar, Performer
Michael Manring - Unusual Weather (1986)
Pat Martino - All Sides Now (1996) Guitar,
Drums, Engineer, Shaker, Mixing
Kelly McGillis & Michael... - Santabear's
First Christmas (1986) Guitar, Performer
Orgy - Punk Statik Paranoia (2004) Vocals
Shape of the Land -Shape of the Land [Original...
Rob Eberhard Young - Sticks & Stones (1997)
Original Soundtrack - Winter Solstice on Ice (1999)
Arranger, Recorder, Whistle (Human), Producer, Engineer, Performer,
Mixing, Harp Guitar, Frame Drum
Various Artists Evening with Windham Hill Live
(1982) Guitar, Performer
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '82 (1985)
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '84 (1985)
Various Artists Windham Hill: Water's Path (1985)
Various Artists Winter's Solstice, Vol. 2 (1986)
Various Artists Windham Hill in Concert (1986)
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '88 (1988)
Various Artists Windham Hill: The First Ten Years
(1990) Producer, Performer
Various Artists Winter's Solstice, Vol. 3 (1990)
Guitar, Arranger, Performer
Various Artists Restore the Shore (1990)
Various Artists Windham Hill Records Guitar...
(1991) Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Arranger, Producer, Engineer,
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '92 (1991) Guitar, Piano, Composer,
Various Artists Carols of Christmas [Windham Hill]
(1996) Guitar, Arranger, Drums, Recorder, Whistle (Human), Whistle
(Instrument), Producer, Engineer,
Various Artists Sanctuary: 20 Years of Windham...
(1996) Guitar, Producer, Performer
Various Artists Redbook Relaxers: Between Friends
(1997) Producer, Performer
Various Artists Redbook Relaxers: Dinner Party
Various Artists Redbook Relaxers: Lullabies (1997)
Various Artists Summer Solstice: A Windham Hill...
(1997) Synthesizer, Guitar (Acoustic), Flute, Percussion, Producer,
Various Artists Winter's Solstice, Vol. 6 (1997)
Synthesizer, Guitar, Producer, Engineer, Performer, Mixing
Various Artists Candlelight Moments: Dreamscape
Various Artists Sounds of Wood and Steel (1998)
Guitar, Producer, Engineer, Performer
Various Artists Windham Hill: The Renaissance...
(1998) Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Arranger, Drums,
Flute (Alto), Producer, Engineer, Perfor
Various Artists Yoga Zone: Music for Yoga Practice
Various Artists Here, There and Everywhere: The...
(1999) Guitar (Acoustic), Arranger, Producer, Engineer, Performer
Various Artists Live Two (1999) Guitar
Various Artists Windham Hill Classics: Romance
Various Artists KKSF 103.7 FM Sampler for AIDS...
Crosby, Stills & Nash Live
Shape of the Land Shape of the Land [Original
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '82
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '84
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '88
Various Artists Windham Hill Records Guitar
Sampler, Vol 2
Various Artists Windham Hill: The First
Various Artists Windham Hill: Water's Path
Various Artists Evening with Windham Hill
Various Artists Windham Hill Sampler '92
Various Artists Windham Hill in Concert
Crosby, Stills & Nash After the Storm
Various Artists Sanctuary: 20 Years of
Various Artists Redbook Relaxers: Between
Various Artists Redbook Relaxers: Dinner
Various Artists Redbook Relaxers: Lullabies
Various Artists Restore the Shore
Various Artists Summer Solstice: A Windham
Various Artists Winter's Solstice, Vol.
Pat Martino All Sides Now
Various Artists Candlelight Moments: Dreamscape
Various Artists Sounds of Wood and Steel
Various Artists Yoga Zone: Music for Yoga
Nancy Zeltsman Woodcuts
Various Artists Redbook: Lullabies
Various Artists Touch: Windham Hill 25
Years of Guitar
Various Artists Live Two
Various Artists Windham Hill Chill: Ambient
cant make your music good. You cant try to be
good. You can try to be present and you can try to remain open, so what
is going to speak to you ~ can speak through you.
fund for his two children has been set up. Hedges did not have an insurance
policy, so any extra money would be a boon to them. Please send donations
of Michael Hedges
c/o Bank of America
228 Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437