If somebody told me a week ago that it is possible to play
music of the great baroque masters on a modern instrument,
to play practically for the whole symphonic orchestra, I probably
Today I do believe because the reality has overgrown the boldest
There has been created a new instrument in the world, which
is able to restore the tone and atmpsphere of baroque music
- this instrument is the Chapman Stick. Stick is a mystery
for most people, but for many of those who risked the adventure,
it is a great revelation. I belong to the second group. I
first heard about the Stick in the end of 90Ős, quite late
with the relation to the history of the instrument. The musician
thanks to whom I noticed the Stick was Sean Malone, the leader
and composer of the project Gordian Knot.
But today I wonŐt talk about him. Today we will be transmitted
to Argentina, where except for passionate Latin-American sounds,
there found its place unconventional approach to music. There
creates a person who has opened a new chapter in the history
of the Chapman Stick music.
This is Guillermo Cides, the artist who has three albums on
his account, the music of which is performed on this 10-string
instrument. And he did what seemed to be impossible Đ rearranged
the music of Johann Sebastian Bach giving new demension and
interpretation to baroque music in the manner not heard of
Everyone knows what a great composer Bach was, and one can
also mistakenly think that the music of the great Master can
be played only with means of great strength. 10 strings and
enormous imagination will be enough to do a miracle.
This miracle is ŇTribute to BachÓ. That is how exactly is
called the work that transmits us into the world of fugues,
violin concerts, suites and preludes. The most amazing is
the fact that it is possible to return the atmosphere of baroque
music with the use of the Stick alone, the instrument that
did not touch the original atmosphere of the epoch. In the
history of music we have already had several real rock-men
who tried to transfer the music of Bach into electric guitar,
for example Alex Masi, but the results were weak. But here
it is different. From the very beginning of the adventure
one can be drowned into the Stick-interpretations of the music
of the great Master - Suite B-moll divided into two separate
parts, later violin concerts (sensasional rendition), magnificently
executed and arranged Bradenburg Concerts, restlessly evolving
preludes and fugues. Very often it sounds like the whole string
quartet, not just one instrument, is playing. Guillermo Cides
proves himself as a knowledgeable as well as intelligently
creative musician. Even the idea itself seems to be imprudent
enough, not talking about its realization. It is very easy
to fall into a deep hole with such experiments impossible
for realization or simply to expose yourself to ridicule.
It does not threaten Cides, on the contrary, one has to bow
oneŐs head before him as the proof of recognition. The artist
has nothing to be ashamed of Đ all the material is played
with inspiration, imagination, where necessary with grandeur,
at some moments with musings and once again with gravity,
but it is good to remember that it played on a funny wide
stick with only 10 strings and a bit of electronics.
It must be written down into the records of the history of
There is only a little ŇbutÓ. Who will notice that? And I
fear here, unfortunately, that the audience will be small.
Firstly, Bach is not for masses. Secondly, the Stick is the
instrument which has its small niche, just like the artists
that use it for creating their music. Few know about them,
and few can appreciate their work, and unfortunately, all
their creations remain in so-called artistic underground.
Therefore it is necessary to write about it, to shout, to
send mails, since thatŐs the only thing that will help. Surely
the music is as original as the instrument itself is.
And really, it is possible to create with it amazing things.
The album ŇTribute to BachÓ proves that. The fresh look on
the works of the great Master in Argentine rendition is highly
Without doubts, Guillermo Cides represents one of the most
comprehensive musicians using the Stick.