One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Guitarist from Another Planet

I was gonna get all newsy today. Really, I was.

But you know what? I just got off a long shift at work, and I'm tired.

Instead, I offer a performance of the instrumental guitar piece "Aerial Boundaries", as rendered by its creator. (Okay, okay...I just wanted an excuse to put up another Youtube clip, 'cuz it's fun. But this is a good one, I promise.)

Ladies and Michael Hedges.

When I first found this gentleman's work while I was in Monterey, I learned a very humiliating lesson of life: Contrary to my beliefs, I cannot play the guitar very well.

For the next three months, I sat in my room, surrounded by broken guitar strings, a heinously abused tape recorder or two, and ten or twelve forests' worth of sheet music, trying (and failing miserably) to grow two extra hands.

Hedges' dizzy-blizzard fingerwork, damn-the-tunings-full-speed-ahead compositional techniques, and Salvador Dali-esque ability to make any song you could name sound as if it were meant to be a solo acoustic piece all along (no, seriously -- I had the honor of watching him perform live his own version of Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance", and did it ever WORK!) made him one of the most dynamic forces of creativity the world of guitar music has ever seen.

Sadly, he died in a car crash in late '97, on his way to the studio to finish what has become his swan song album, Torched.

Do yourself a favor---take a look here, and see what can be accomplished with two hands and a good-sized chunk of wood and steel.