Music to Quarantine by — vol. 5 (wk of 4.13)
I assure you, this is much more pleasant than the daily COVID-19 updates.
13 April 2020
Upon first listen, you’ll find yourself asking “How the f is all of that coming from one guitar?”
It. Is. Incredible.
While the genre New Age isn’t for everyone — it’s a little soft, a little trippy, a little odd, a little spacey but some of it, like Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries, is hella good.
I had a friend who was all into this sort of music and I was way into my snob stage. Naturally, I poo-pooed his suggestion that I listen to Michael Hedges.
I can’t explain why, but one day I was at the record store and picked up two CDs, The Replacements Let It Be and Michael Hedges Aeriel Boundaries. Having both been released in 1984, I was a bit behind the curve here.
The ‘mats are the ‘mats…but Michael Hedges was a revelation. I had never heard anything like it before…or since.
I am not a guitar player but I can recognize a good guitar player pretty easily. Aside from lyrics, it’s the thing in music that hits me most viscerally. Since there are no lyrics on it’s only natural that with Aeriel Boundaries my attention went to guitar. To be fair there are only three instruments, guitar, fretless bass, and flute.
Hedges had influences that varied and his approach to composition owed as much to Igor Stravinsky, Edgard Varèse, and Steve Reich, as it did to Pete Townsend, Neil Young, and Leo Kottke.
In my mind, he’s a genius on par with someone like Prince. Prince was a composer who played pop music just as Hedges was a composer who played guitar. Both of these artists operated on an entirely different plane.
Be warned, New Age is not for everyone and you may think it sounds too soft…and it will be if you’re expecting Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. Speaking of those two, here they are on Hedges:
“Michael was unique. His music transcends genre and trend. It’s truly musical, fun and…