As for influences besides metal, Hock's enthusiasm for free improvisation as well as contemporary classical allows him to approach extreme metal with a unique arsenal of techniques and inspirations. At his recent senior recital at New England Conservatory, Hock led a chamber orchestra in an unorthodox metal number that fit comfortably alongside a performance of an Anton Webern piece he'd transcribed for guitar. Knowing that he strives for an instantly recognizable voice as a guitarist but feels comfortable within many idioms, I asked Hock how he decides which material best suits Castevet, his most prominent ensemble. "All the projects I am involved in have their own identities. When ideas come, where they'll be used is the least of my concerns. That's the easy part."

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