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Bloviating Zeppelin: Stick Men: Indiscipline

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Stick Men: Indiscipline

Stick Men are a trio of performers whose many-branched roots have, at one time or another, crossed with King Crimson. Here, they cover a Crimso song, "Indiscipline."



This power trio consists of Pat Mastelotto on drums, Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and Michael Bernier on second Chapman Stick -- hence, "Stick Men."

The Chapman Stick is a 10 or 12-stringed polyphonic musical instrument which is completely electric and possesses no hollow box as does an acoustic guitar. The term "polyphonic" indicates that the Chapman Stick can be used to play bass, melody, textures or chords, sometimes simultaneously if desired and the player possesses advanced dexterity.

You'll notice that the Chapman Stick, invented by Emmett Chapman in the early 70s (releasing it in 1974), is meant to be tapped or fretted, rather than plucked or picked. The wide neck is very flat, the frets a little more elevated with very low string action -- meaning the strings are lower to the necessary frets and therefore conducive to fretting and tapping.

Here, Michael Bernier provides a close-up view of Chapman Stick fretwork, and illustrates the extremely-wide range of play available on the instrument, from guitar-like highs to bass guitar lows.



Below, Tony Levin explains the Chapman Stick:



Greg Howard illustrates the multiple advantages of the Chapman Stick:



The very top video, Indiscipline, was performed by Stick Men in Montreal on May 11th of 2010.

If you care, I ask you to stay with me for a few Saturdays, ladies and gentlemen. Your musical horizons will expand.

BZ

3 Comments:

Blogger Old NFO said...

VERY interesting, thanks! :-)

Sat Jan 07, 01:53:00 PM PST  
Blogger Johnny Glendale said...

I met Emmet Chapman at a NAAM show (Nat'l Assoc. of Music Merchants) maybe 25 years ago, and he let me "play" (more like fumble and hammer) on a Stick - still have his signed album, and still have "Discipline" in my car's CD player (it took YEARS to find it on CD).

Sun Jan 08, 01:46:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Johnny Glendale: first, thanks for taking the time to visit, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

What a wonderful thing that must be to have noodled around on an early Chapman Stick! The virtuosity of those who can play a Chapman Stick to a point anywhere near its technical boundaries is indeed stunning, is it not?

BZ

Sun Jan 08, 01:55:00 PM PST  

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