I must confess that it is rare for me to be a portable musician when I’m playing the electric guitar. Most of my amps are anything but portable; I mean my Marshal cabinet won’t even fit in my car! So, you can imagine my joy when I am able to venture outside and still play my Strat or Tele!
Thanks to Blackstar’s amPlug, a guitar headphone amp, I can grab the electric, plug in the headphone amp, and wander around untethered. This gave me a grand opportunity to truly make space music recently! We were having a lunar eclipse just after dark and the weather was nice, so I headed out the backdoor and set up a chair for an impromptu moon observatory. I took with me my Fender Flame, plugged the Blackstar headphone amp in, donned my headphones, and started making electric space music on my guitar while watching the moon slowly turning blood red. Several hours went by while I floated through endless chords, riffs, and melodies; the stream of thought improvisation totally morphed my brainwaves into a trance-like meditation. My worries and stress had quickly dissolved, and I felt relaxed, carefree, and very Zen-like while sitting on my back porch. Maybe this is what John Fogerty experienced when he wrote Lookin' out my Back Door. I kind of doubt it! Anyway, this was the classic space music experience, greatly aided by being outdoors with my electric guitar. What a transforming experience! Surrounded by the blackness of nighttime and space, the moon changing colors and becoming dark, and all the while my guitar providing an exciting yet tranquil soundtrack for it all! Talk about an immersive experience! There’s nothing on my computer or tv to match this; all my senses were engaged down to even the cool air on my skin and the whiff of cigarette smoke and laundry detergent coming from my neighbor’s yard. It all blended together and mixed with the music until my imagination and the real world all became fluidly enmeshed, and I wasn’t even using any chemical help! Such is the freeing effect of playing on a portable sound device!
Wow, what exciting times we are living in, to be able to watch the flock of satellites cycle above our roofs in the night sky and to carry the world of electronic music with us in the form of phone apps, tiny synth modules, mini keyboards and yes, headphone amps for our guitars. I hope you will go mobile sometime and make your own soundtrack to the great outdoors or to the vastness of space!