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Friday, November 12, 2004

This Moment In Music

I’ve been on quite the binge of digital music acquisition lately. It’s just so hard to resist when you come across tunes that just have to be listened to.

Among what I’ve scored this week from the iTunes Music Store are Vanessa Carlton’s brand-new album, Harmonium, an album and a few singles by British pop-rock group Keane, and the latest single, What You Waiting For, by Gwen Stefani of No Doubt. But there are two artists that prompted this entry’s Wow subcategory.

You should know, I truly love acoustic guitar music. Not necessarily slow mushy stuff and not necessarily die-hard classical pieces, though some pieces of both types can sometimes interest me. But what I enjoy most are the sounds of artists such as Peter White, Craig Chaquico, Acoustic Alchemy, and Pat Metheny. Tonight, I’ve added Michael Hedges to my list of acoustic guitar favorites.

From Hedges’ iTMS artist page:

Known to many as a “new age” artist because of his association with the Windham Hill label, Michael Hedges could be more accurately described as a progressive guitarist.

Hedges’ most identifiable “sound” is born from creative tuning and, often with both hands, tapping (or hammering, as I like to call it) the frets, as well as playing the guitar’s harmonics.

I first learned of Hedges from his Aerial Boundaries track on a Windham Hill DVD I purchased some years ago. I loved the song, but incorrectly assumed it was a tangent of typical guitar playing that he perhaps did for just that one song. Little did I know he had recorded several albums of this style. Tragically, however, there’ll be no new music from him. He was killed in a car crash in 1997.

The second “Wow” artist (er, actually artist group) is Bond. These chicks—Eos, Gay-Yee, Haylie, and Tania—are incredible. Imagine four beautiful…nay, totally hot girls—the type you’d expect to be cutting up a stage with their pop-rock sounds and body gyrations. But, instead of giving them a microphone, give violins to two of them and a viola and a cello to the other two. Then, throw in the same pop-rock rhythm to which you’d have expected them to sing and dance. The result is an addictive fusion of classical and modern rock sounds by, believe it or not, classically trained artists.

If you’re thinking this sounds an awful lot like Vanessa-Mae (who, by the way, has a new album, Choreography, due for U.S. release early next year), you’d be right. The difference is that Bond takes this sound to the next level—if only due to their being a foursome instead of a soloist. Admittedly, Vanessa-Mae has been cranking up the sex appeal lately, too. I can’t wait to get my hands on her latest album.

All the links above are to artist web sites. Those who’d prefer to head to the iTMS instead, you’ll want the following links:

» Posted by ALBj at 01:23 AM (ET)
Category: Journal, Wow

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