“The Double Planet” available from Stropes Editions, Ltd.

by | Feb 26, 2024

In August 1987, I was delighted to welcome Michael Hedges back to Milwaukee for the second American Finger-Style Festival. His career was burgeoning and there was a palpable excitement in the air both for his concert and teaching. And he was ready!

He began a two-hour presentation on composition with general remarks on his own chimerical approach to composing. Next, he was drawn into a more philosophical discussion on the nature of music. And then, moving from the profound to the practical, he switched gears and used the harp guitar instrumental “The Double Planet” as a case study. He discussed the similarity to “Aerial Boundaries”: beginning with harmonic ambiguity, adding voices, the necessity of changing things up before you and your audience get bored. Then he narrated the imagery he associated with each section (an imagined outer space odyssey). It was dramatic, comprehensive, and fascinating.

I remember this presentation just like it was yesterday, and it’s a great joy for me now to bring it all together and inscribe “The Double Planet” for the future.

— John Stropes

Rhythm, Sonority, Silence Book Re-Print

The Double Planet

In 1984, with “Because It’s There,” Hedges exploited the capabilities of the harp guitar in a new way, playing melody on the sub-basses and using the six-string neck for accompaniment. This composition was the impetus for a new age for the harp guitar.

Then, in 1986, Hedges built on this approach with “The Double Planet,” opening with a passage technically reminiscent of “Aerial Boundaries.” Both hands are playing the six-string neck: the left hand hammering on and pulling off notes on the third string; the right hand playing notes on the first, second, fourth, and fifth strings, and making extensive use of right-hand string-stopping to clarify the combined result. 

While originally conceived of as part of a suite exploring planetary themes, “The Double Planet” first appeared on the recording Santa Bear’s First Christmas in 1986, and then on Live on the Double Planet in 1987.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Join the Newsletter!

Be the first to know when new stories, learning resources, merch, video and music are released on MichaelHedges.com

You have Successfully Subscribed!