THE LADIES OF THE STICK
by Guillermo Cides
version en castellano
Is the Stick a thing
The question that emerge when one looks at the statistics
at some statistics listings from the first sight.
However,and luckily, women are begining to
be part of this community, for the relief of our
souls which need the feminine creativity, as much
in music as in e daily life.
Women have always modified things with their actions
in events of
different musical nature in the world. From
Janis Joplin till the
electronic mysticism of Bjork (without forgetting
that historical song of happy
birthday of Marylin Monroe to her president). It
is known that the Stick is still a new instrument
of this time, and that it will take time until
it is projected in its entire range. Even so, I
convinced that we take part in a historical
process that is beyond merely that of
an instrument; our music, as that of new Stick artists,
its footprint; together with the women-stickists.
At my concerts across different countries, I have
had luck to meet some of these first women
of the Stick. One of them was Carrie Melbourne.
Most of the stickistas know about this fruitful
and growing artist. When I met her, she had recently
bought her first Stick whose previous owner had
been Jim Lampi, her instructor at that
moment. Her presentations with different artists, such
as Mike Olfield or Tricky, offered her the possibility
of extending her bass
the Stick in her performances. With an excellent
first CD, titled Indian Ocean, she heads the list
of albums recorded by stick women.
Our only musical meeting was at a demonstration
we made with Jim and Carrie for the Rose Morris
music house in London, which was promoting the
" - It is my favorite instrument. I thank
a lot to Emmett, he invented an instrument that
really changed my life. The Stick combines with
any style. In our band we play a lot of rock with
influences of the ambient music and world music...
" (The Global Bass Interview))
called my attention at that moment
was the argentinian Maqui Tenconi. The singer,
pianist and stickista of a new band called
"Iguanas of sea", where they mixed instruments
so different as a sitar,
synthesized guitars, a gamelan, tables, extra
sharp voices, and the Stick. This artist, dedicated
to the classical and ethnic music, published her
first CD with this band where you can appreciate
the Stick in an interesting sound context.
About the necessity of searching for new sounds
and including them in different styles, Maqui
" - I believe that it has to do with the
exhaustion of other tendencies. If you look through
the history you will find that when a system was
drained, it was replaced by another. At the moment,
in the contemporary music, or in the classical
music understood as contemporary, there is quite
a work on this topic..."
In Italy, the stickista Virna
Splendore presents her duet " SplendoRe "
together with Roberto Fiorucci.
Virna, besides her musical talent, has a great
organizational capacity as it is demonstrated
by the seminars made by her previously in Rome,
and her incursions on the Internet through a specialized
musicians. Her album "Guilty" shows
an interesting and creative composition in each
one of its songs.
" I felt quickly comfortable with the stick
and I could mix my piano technique with the string
instruments very easily. This made that the Stick
were my instrument more than other."
(The Global Bass Interview)
Melina Von Hunefeld who shares
her time between Argentina and England, was recently at
our first Stick Seminar in Spain.
Patricia Gonzalez is an Argentinian
bass player who found in the Stick a
possibility for expression. Once my student, her
continuous dedication to music transforms
her into a curious instrumentalist who looks for
sharing the music among the bass lines and the
polyphony of the Stick.
..." - I knew the Stick first by means of
King Crimson and then through Cides in the
theater. It was so intimate and wonderful
that I fell in love with the instrument at the
moment. All the perceptions that I had in the
head, like a bass player, about an instrument
and about the rock in general, were gone to the
... - I don't believe that the Stick is a masculine
instrument, but it is an instrument that requires
a lot of coordination and concentration. I have
discovered recently that I must have the thirst
and the tranquility to be able to experiment with
it, but it is an instrument that constantly generates
images, and perhaps they are the images of
our interior which want to be shown through us...
and sometimes not."
" -As a goal and for my satisfaction, I hope
to be able to offer the time and the dedication
that it deserves, it is the matter of musical
growth and internal opening that requires effort
and discipline. To experiment with "before"
and "after" of the Stick is a beautiful
"At this moment I study music at the Popular
Music School of Avellaneda in Argentina, besides
playing with a Tango quintet and in a Rock band.
A combination of poetry and mathematics
... listen to Linda Cushma, american singer and
stickista, the leader of the band Oxigene8.
She collaborated with the drummer Tim Alexander
of the band "Primus", and they
will soon publish an album with Oxigene8.
Irene Orleansky is a songwriter,
singer and musician. She was born in Russia and
started studying music at the age of 4. Both classical
and pop music have always been an important part
of Irene's life. She studied the classical piano
at Moscow Academy of Music and the bass at the
Studio of Jazz Music. In 1988, Irene, Vladimir
Kruglov (guitar) and Kirill Malahov (vocal) founded
a band Ra, where she was, initially a bass player
and later also a singer. For four years the band
played hundreds of gigs and participated in numerous
radio and TV shows in Russia. The band took part
in historical Russian rock festivals Interchance
88 and Interchance 89 where they appeared before
tens of thousands of spectators. In 1990 the band
participated in another famous Russian rock festival
“Live Sound” where Ra won the first
prize (recording at the best Moscow studio of
that time), and in which Irene was nominated the
best bass player. After the split of the band,
Irene turned to classical music and started conducting
a choir of Gregorian and Renaissance music. Irene
moved to Israel in 1998 where she started experimenting
with recording at her home studio. She recorded
a single “Miss You” in 2000 in Bristol,
England. In January, 2004 Irene’s old dream
came true when she started playing the Chapman
Stick. Nowadays, Irene is living in Israel and
working on her new album together with Kirill
Malahov, the producer of Music Brothers Records
(Moscow, Russia), who is called by many The Master
of the Russian sound. The album is expected to
be released in July, 2004
New figures are
beginning to appear under the sun of
music. Two Americans incorporated to the world
of the Stick, and they are: Jocelyn Garner (Left)
and Jody Russell (right). We do not know too much
of them, only that they were present at the seminars
promoted by Stick Enterprises. We hope to have
news on them soon...
On a web site that soon
will be online you will find
"Chick with a Stick.com" directed by
the stickista Tina Adams.
But not everything is strings
and women ...
In my musical curiosity, I also wanted to know
about the thoughts of singer-women who were
accompanied by a stickista. And for this reason,
I interviewed CHISA, the front woman of a band
called Stuck whose stickista is Pat Cahil. She
told me the following:
"-I love singing with a Stick player in the
band. We work extremely closely together on the
material. The versatility of the Stick really
supports the singing well. In a sense, it functions
like a piano -- because the Stick is totally polyphonic,
played with two hands and has a large range."
"The music is composed mostly on the Stick,
and Pat (Stickist) is the main composer, so the
sound is shaped in large part by the Stick (although
I contribute to writing melodies on voice or piano
and I write the lyrics, too)". "Pat
uses the Stick in a pretty unique way. The kinds
of chords he can play (based on 4ths, for example)
would be very difficult on any other stringed
instrument (like guitar) -- so this gives a very
unique sound to the harmonic aspects of the songs.
Since Pat uses a midi Stick, the many synthesized
sounds he gets also shapes the music in a unique
way. Triggering synth sounds from a Stick is different
from any other method (sometimes like piano sometimes
like guitar) -- this also contributes to the uniqueness
of our sound." "Since the songs are
written on the Stick, they are shaped with it's
unique-ness in mind especially. And I think they
make our songs have a special and different sound.
Through the Stick Center, sometimes
we receive questions of women who are musicians
interested in the world of the Stick. Maybe with
an intention to encourage the
future stick women, I decided to write this article
in which the listing of stick women
at the present time is surely longer.
Evidently, the musical abstraction doesn't lie on
the detail of the
sexual identity to be expressed, but in my own experience,
I have always found in the women who were devoted
to the music a certain special inspiration
that came from a world ignored by men. Maybe
energy that moves within them is, at least for me, enigmatic
I refer to the true intentions of musical creations
of women, and not to the
classic repetition of commercial models so common nowadays
(this has neither sex nor sense).
For that reason, from these lines I believe that
our small tapping universe needs the force of the creation
of a woman.
What a coincedence, like in the origins.
Some availables Sites.
Official Web page (with mp3).
Official Web page.
Linda Cushma Official
Chick with a
Stick - Official Web Page of Tina Adams.
STUCK Band, Chisa
and the stickplayer Pat Cahill
The Stick Center thanks Stickplayer's collaboration
for this interview.
Translated by Matias Betty
The Stick Center