Joy of Hex and the Cordless Guitars of the Future

TitleJoy of Hex and the Cordless Guitars of the Future
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFreed, Adrian
Conference NameIdentites de la Guitare Electrique
Date Published05/18/2009
Conference LocationParis, France
AbstractMy view of the primary identity of the electric guitar is as a vehicle for sonic, and stylistic imitation. I started my talk with a sound example from Hendrix's Live in Berkeley concert where he introduces himself as performing on the "public saxophone". I concluded this half by showing an early prototype of my augmented guitar with hexaphonic processing to allow free movement in a vowel space. This is the logical generalization of the waa-waa pedal. I introduce a model of innovation which I find far more fruitful in understanding the instrument's past present and future than the current "lone genius" model that frames most histories of the electric guitar as a series of key personalities and key instruments. I propose that innovation occurs when three normally asynchronous processes are brought together: ideation, implementation and cultural resonance. This is connected to the three pillars Bill Buxton discusses of Invention, Manufacturing and Marketing. I have taken these ideas out of the corporate development context noting that they are more broadly observed collective behaviors, I illustrate this by showing how many core ideas have been implemented with different instruments and music over hundreds of years including some speculations as to why cultural resonance was achieved at that point in time.