–The inventor of the Stick, began his astral travel.
I don’t know how to say goodbye to Emmett Chapman. After almost 30 years working together on everything related to the world of Stick, it is difficult to do so. His invention – the Chapman Stick – changed my life and the lives of many other musicians in the world. The Stick allowed me to have a language that I never had on other instruments. It was not only a language: it was the unique opportunity to make all my dreams as a musician come true. The possibility of traveling the world. To see and grow as a person and as a musician. Without realizing it, the Stick began to be part of my nature just like so many other musicians who play the Stick today. But in those 90’s we were still few. I don’t know what Emmett Chapman saw in me, that young Argentinean traveler from the south of the world, long-haired – not now – who proposed to him in 1994 on the kitchen table of his own home in California, a plan to create Stick Center in different parts of the world, organizing Stickista seminars, empowering the artists rather than the instrument by promoting their records, because – the young man said – it was music that would take the Stick far. All this translated by a Hispanic gardener who had called for the occasion because I did not speak fluent English – now I do.
Emmett Chapman was a visionary, a daring man who broke the rules there around the year 69. The “stickistas” inherited that from him: the audacity to give complete concerts with an innovative and revolutionary instrument that mixed bass, guitar, percussion and piano technique. The 4 great instruments in one, nothing more and nothing less.
How many concerts, Emmett. How many seminars, Stick Camp, Stick Center, Stickista Compilations, interviews, clinics. How many students, how many new and old musicians, music, music and more music. How many letters, Emmett. First fax, then paper and then emails. How many secrets between those lines that made your letters unique, speaking from time to time about the universe, about life brought from outer space, about the concept of pop music, about your philosophy as a craftsman. How many hours, days, months and years you dedicated to the Stick, calibrating them one by one to send it later to the home of those dreaming musicians. What an honor to have been part of your staff. I know you had a special sympathy for me and you allowed me to represent your Stick trademark in Argentina, Chile, Spain and Colombia. Yes, I already realized that I have remained the only European Stick representative even though you no longer needed representatives anymore, but you gave me that chance until your last day because – I like to think that way – you still see the intrepid young Argentine who played Bach and El Mundo Interior de Los Planetas.
Thanks Emmett for these 30 years. I still play Bach and The Inner World of the Planets – still now.
I have been loyal to our work just as I promised you that day in that kitchen at your house. But more especially, I have been happy playing the Chapman Stick, the instrument that you allowed to fly from your hands to reach mine, as well as thousands of musicians in the world. After all, it is only happiness that remains in the ethereal world of planets.