>I was around 10 yrs old (or younger) when I first heard of this amazing guitar music. I was sitting on the stairway in my hometown province in one of the islands in the Philippines, when my uncles played this concert on laser disc. When I heard the music, it overwhelmed me instantly. I never imagined a guitar could be played that way – outrageous! in full abandon and enjoyment, and reckless passion! At ten years old, those words were not in my vocabulary. But I felt it, the music spoke to me. It was an unusual experience. How universal, a music can reach out to a little kid that was me, in the hidden provinces in Asia, and opened the whole world of music imagination to me.
The guitarist, Michael Hedges, was born in Sacramento,CA. He was performing at some cafe at Palo Alto when Will Ackerman (another good musician, I still listen to him) signed him up a recording contract with Windham Hill records. When I was in my teens, my uncles settled in America and when we got the chance to talk they told me we’re all going to watch Michael Hedges in concert when I reach America. Unfortunately I was too late. Michael Hedges died from a car accident in 1997, he was driving home from San Francisco International Airport. He was 43.
Then, I watched the movie August Rush, there was one scene when August’s hands started hammering the guitar, and I told myself, that’s Michael Hedges style! As I am a fan, it was kind of hard for me to accept somebody playing like him in a big movie, therefore I slightly ignored the talent behind the guitar playings (which was Kaki King). Only later I learned from the August Rush soundtrack that it was indeed Micheal Hedges’ song “Ritual Dance” as performed by Kaki King and she did it so much justice.
Remembering Michael Hedges, these are some music clips that I so fondly watched him play for more than 50 times in my childhood years, now available in YouTube.