Submitted by Martin Filiatrault
I was fortunate enough to meet Michael during a show at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CA in . I took a chance during the intermission and walked backstage at the open venue. I found Michael by himself, walking along a pathway behind the stage area. I approached, introduced myself and shook his hand as I thanked him for all the joy his music had brought to my life.
He was gracious and grateful for my appreciation, and I left him to continue enjoying his break before finishing the concert. We lost him later that year, and I was crushed when I heard the news… but I took solace in knowing I got a chance to tell him in person how important his music was, and still is, in my life.
I’ve gotten the chance to befriend many other great fingerstyle players since then; Andy McKee, Ian Ethan Case, Don Ross, Van Larkins and other great players who were influenced by Michael. In a way, they have helped me work through the loss I felt so keenly for so long when Michael died. They have kept his spirit alive and growing and have helped fill the vast void I felt when Michael was gone.
We all know the importance Michael Hedges and his music has had in our lives, and we will cherish it forever.