cover of book

Jimi Hendrix: Soundscapes
by Marie-Paule Macdonald
Reaktion Books, 2016
eISBN: 978-1-78023-542-4 | Paper: 978-1-78023-530-1

Jimi Hendrix, one of the great instrumentalists in rock history, pioneered amplified sound that extended the scope of the guitar into the urban landscape. In this book, Marie-Paule Macdonald situates Hendrix’s trajectory through the places he made music, translating an innovative sense of space into his songs.
Macdonald follows Hendrix from the Pacific Northwest to the California coast to New York City, from his musical beginnings as a youth in Seattle to his launch, touring career, and up until his last weeks in London. She charts the surroundings of a genuine inner-city dweller, a nighthawk and wanderer who roamed the streets and alleys of everyday neighborhoods and haunted seedy basement bars and intimate clubs—as performer or audience member. She explores how the rumble, uproar, babble, and discord of urban life inspired Hendrix to incorporate noise into his powerful repertoire. Tracking the variety of places where Hendrix played—from open-air stages to dilapidated ballrooms—she shows how space eventually became a process, as Hendrix would eventually commission an architect and sound engineer to build an urban recording studio that would capture the reverberation, bounce, sustain, and echo that he heard and played.
Crackling with the electrifying sound of explosive creativity, Jimi Hendrix explores place and space to offer fascinating new insight into Hendrix’s resounding talent. 

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