Reverb Titles


Jimi Hendrix, one of the great instrumentalists in rock history, pioneered an amplified sound that extended the scope of the guitar into the urban landscape. Jimi Hendrix: Soundscapes traces Hendrix’s personal and musical trajectory through the places in which he played, following him from the Pacific Northwest to the California coast, through the South and on to New York City, and from his musical beginnings as a youth in Seattle to his debut, touring career and his last weeks in London.

Hendrix was a genuine inner-city dweller, a nighthawk and wanderer who roamed the streets and alleys of everyday neighbourhoods and sought out seedy basement bars and intimate clubs – whether as performer or audience member. 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, Marie-Paule Macdonald shows in this book how landscape and cityscape became for Hendrix a material to be exploited; he 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: Soundscapes explores place and space to offer fascinating new insights into Hendrix’s resounding talent.



MARIE-PAULE MACDONALD is Professor of Architectural and Urban Design at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her previous books include Rockspaces (2000) and Wild in the Streets: The Sixties (in collaboration with Dan Graham, 1994).



By John Scanlan

John Scanlan is the Series Editor of Reverb with Reaktion Books.