Saturday, October 14, 2017

Welcome!!!

So here it is..all the interviews,the reviews,the rants,and of course the podcast episodes!
 Strada-Sphere Radio is a podcast born out of the love for the music of the Chapman Stick. Hosted by Juan R Leon with later editions hosted by Shane Carey, the podcast showcased music from around the globe in a variety of genres.
 Now bear with us as the site is a bit out of chronological order concerning the original publishing dates for the interviews..but what the hey..they are all here! Scroll down or use the side navigation bar to find specific interviews,reviews and individual shows with their respective links and show notes. You may also click The Archived Shows for a complete list of podcast episodes with their own player (no show notes) in reverse chronological order. Almost all the episodes are here (Spanish editions also) save for two episodes which have been lost in cyber space somewhere.

SSR Interview with Irene Orleansky



I am proud to present our first SSR interview for 2006 with the extremely talented Irene Orleansky.A truly cosmopolitan artist (she is Russian born and lives in Isreal),Irene effortlessly blends world motifs,new age movements,and even manages to garner a hit in the Isreali Club Cicurt with her new CD "Live the Music". Irene takes a little of her precious time and sets it aside to answer a few questions.

SSR: Thank you for taking time to answer some questions for me! You are my 1st interview for 2006 and I am honored and thrilled. You have been very busy since the release of "Live the Music" (which I love,by the way).Tell me about the impact that the album has had on your musical career. 


Irene: Thank you, Juan! I’m glad you like my album! People like my album, and some even purchase it. It encourages me to go on with music. On the other hand, recording the album taught me a lot, and now I know what are the things I’d like to improve in the future.

SSR The album was recorded via internet in 3 different countries (Russia,Israel,Spain).What challenges did this environment bring to you?What advantages?


Irene: Not all the recording was done over the Internet. Some tracks were recorded at Kirill's studio Music Brothers Records in Moscow where I came especially for the recording sessions. But most of the tracks each one recorded at his own place. Kirill in his studio in Moscow, Guillermo at his home in Barcelona, Asi at this home in Tel Aviv, and I - in the bedroom of my apartment in Kfar Saba. The only disadvantage of recording over the Internet is in mixing, when you have to send and resend the files to one another. In all the other aspects, it’s pretty much the same as recording at a studio together, but only if there is good chemistry among the musicians.

SSR: How long have you been collaborating with Kirill, Asi, and Guillermo? What do they each bring out in you as an artist? 


Irene: Each one is a different story and I can talk for hours about these guys.

I have been playing with Kirill for, let me count, 18 years, since we were really young. We played in a band together in Moscow. He was a singer and I was a bass player. We have great chemistry and similar musical tastes. Kirill is a fantastic sound designer and I owe him my sound. He is also a very demanding producer, and his high standards force me to become better and better. I remember that I had a nightmare after I had finished recording the CD. In my dream, I arrived in Moscow and Kirill was waiting for me at the airport. I told him cheerfully “I’m so glad the recording is over! Now we can have a great time in Moscow, see all the friends!” On what he cut strictly “What do you mean the recording is over? You will have to sing all the vocal tracks again. Professionals don’t sing like that!” It’s just a funny dream, but it is really “Kirillish”, indeed. Kirill also encourages me a lot, and he was the one who made me believe that I’m capable of singing many years ago. Another great quality of Kirill is that he is ready to listen to any crazy idea of mine, he will never reject it until he gives it a try. Therefore I feel really free with him.

Asi is the person who took me into the world of club music, and I am really grateful to him for that. The story with Asi started really prosaically. When my CD was almost over, I gave it to a friend of mine, Jaan, to listen. He listened to it and said “It sounds great, but why don’t you make it more modern? You have great dj’s in Israel, why don’t you make a club remix of one of the songs?” First I rejected the idea. What do I have to do with dj’s? But then, after thinking for a while I thought why not? I’m not that old. So another friend of mine, Sagi, got the phone numbers of three famous dj’s, I contacted them all, and to my surprise they all agreed to make a remix for me. So I only had to choose the best. And I chose Asi. The result – a nice house remix of my song “Dance With The Music Of Your Heart” which is played in the most popular clubs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Recording with Guillermo was a wonderful experience. We have never seen each other and contacted only through emails. Recording with Guillermo was really magical. We didn’t have to talk much or discuss what’s it going to be like. We contacted on “cosmic” level. So, Guillermo took me to some new, previously unknown to me, heights.

Here I would also like to mention another person who didn’t really participate in the recording but is also a part of my album. That’s Don Schiff, who was generous enough to let us cover his wonderful song “Deep Within My Soul”. 

SSR: In addition to being an excellent Stickist and vocalist with an innate ability to hear the melody and harmony hidden in every musical passage, you appear to be an accomplished poet. Your lyrics are not the usual "rhyme for the sake of rhyming" banter that clouds so many songs today. Is this a conscience effort, or do you just "let it flow"? How do you approach your song writing sessions? 


Irene: Each of my songs is a real story, sometimes a very intimate one. So I write songs only when I am in the right mood to share my deep intimate feelings with the world. When such a moment arrives, everything flows naturally and simultaneously – lyrics, melodies, rhythms, sounds.


SSR:Tell us a little about your signal chain both live and in the studio.

Irene: Recording the CD, I played the melody side of the Stick mostly directly into the sound card of the computer and later processed the sound with Guitar Rig, other VST effects or hardware effects. In some of the solos, I played through Digitech 2120 preamp processor. I recorded the bass side with the microphone through SWR Workingman’s combo.
As for playing live, I don’t use much gear. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to, but that’s what I have. I play the Stick through Ableton Live program that I run on my PowerBook laptop. I use Ableton Live to loop the Stick and to process the sound with Ableton’s built-in effects, Guitar Rig and Korg Legacy Collection.

SSR: Word has it that here is a new "project" on the horizon for you. What is it and tell us a little about it.


Irene: That’s true. I’m working on the venture of our label Music Brothers Records that I called Artists Pro Artists. I had the idea of such a venture after a few of my musician-friends told me that they have difficulties selling their CD’s online in their countries. So the idea of the project is very simple: a group of artists sell their CD’s and iTunes from Music Brothers Records website and receive all the money from CD sales. Every artist participating in the project also does his best to promote the project and its artists in his or her country. That’s why I called the project Artists Pro Artists. There are some really great artists who have joined the venture – the fantastic Russian guitarist Dmitry Chetvergov, one of my favorite musicians the Japanese Shugo Tokumaru, amazing guitarists Uri Bracha from Israel and Konstantine Baranov from the USA, the stickists John Edmonds, Virna Splendore, Diego Souto, Toshiaki Kanamaru. And there are already some musical editions and radio stations that are willing to promote the project. I hope there will be more great artists and promoters who will join us. So if there is someone who wants to join the project as an artist or as a promoter, please contact me at irene@musicbrothersrecords.com I’m going to launch the project somewhere in the middle of May.

SSR: What's next for you? Any plans on coming to the US?


Irene: First, I have to complete some tasks at hand. I'm working on three tracks now. One is the remake of the Door's Riders On The Storm Kirill and I are working on. The other two are the tracks I'm working on together with the Israeli electronic musician Fon. One is the ambient remix of one of my songs, another is his trance track on which I am singing. I also have to launch the Artist Pro Artists venture about which I told you before and prepare the materials for the Russian magazine Music Box in which I have a column dedicated to the Chapman Stick. I write articles about the Stick there and interview Stick players. For the next issue I'm preparing an interview with Don Schiff, in the previous issues I interviewed Emmett Chapman and Guillermo Cides. Music Box will publish some of these materials online soon, also the English versions.
After I finish with all that, I'm planning to do more recordings.We are discussing recording the album of Don Schiff's unreleased songs together. Virna Splendore and I are also thinking of recording some tunes. I've also started putting a band together for playing gigs. There are going to be a drummer/percussionist, back vocalists and a dancer in it, and myself with the Stick and vocals, of course.
Certainly, I would like to come to the United States, especially since I have so many friends there, both Stick and "Teflon". I'll try to come as soon as possible.

It was a great pleasure to answer your interview questions, Juan. I really love your Strada Sphere Radio podcasts! Thanks for the great work you do! I'd also like to use the opportunity to thank all those who listen to my music and buy my CD! And also thanks to all those who sent me mails with all those kind words about my CD! I really appreciate your support and encouragement!

SSR Interview with Fergus Marsh



Canadian Stickist Fergus Jemison Marsh has had a long and brilliant career sharing stage and studio with some of the most prominent names in music..He has appeared on over 50 albums and has toured the world over.His tight,rhythmic Stick work can be heard on albums by contemporary Christian Music's late great Mark Heard, multi-Juno Award winner Bruce Cockburn, Alt Rockers Big Faith, brother Hugh Marsh,and Art Turner,to name but a few.He has also managed to squeeze in some jingle work.And now Fergus has released an album of world beat grooves with beautiful, spiritual themes.His signature Stick is in full bloom providing a rich tapestry upon which is built a magnificent experience of lush harmonies and meditative chants.Fergus was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule and answer a few questions for us. 



SSR   You have had an illustrious career as a bassist and Stickist working with some of the top names in the music industry.Why did you wait so long to put out a solo album? 

I think it was just the right time for me.I bought a computer and I suddenly had the means to twiddle away on it and try to figure out what kind of project to do.I wanted something that would express who I am musically and spiritually. 

SSR  How did you set out to write the material for "Spirit Moves"? 

It was a combination of playing around on the Stick and looking for scripture that could accompany the music. The idea was to find short passages that would act as chants or meditations. In this way, the thought process of the listener remains open to one's own directions for meditation on the themes provided and the music can either support the lyrics or take more of a leading role. Having said that, you can hopefully also just listen to it and enjoy it for what it is. 

SSR  Your album has a definite "world vibe" to it.Some of the material reminds me of Peter Gabriel's "So" or "Shaking the Tree".Who are some of your musical influences? 

A short incomplete list: 
Peter Gabriel 
Bill Laswell 
Mark Isham 
Jimi Hendrix 
Frank Zappa 
Bjork 
Los Lobos 
Daniel Lanois 
Japan 
Miles Davis and Steps Ahead 
My other main influence was all forms of Classical music which I was brought up on. 

SSR   Tell us about Big Faith.Is Big Faith going to release another album soon? 

Dead and burried. 

SSR   You have had a long standing association with Christian performers of the highest caliber. How was it working with folks like Mark Heard? 

Mark was a wonderful man whom I knew for a very short period over a few years before his untimely death. He always made it easy to work with him because he was so much fun and he wrote such poignant and beautiful songs. 

SSR   You have also worked with the incredible Bruce Cockburn.Bruce seems to gravitate towards front and center players when it comes to the bass and percussion sidemen of his various groups.His music has a driving force which is propelled by a tight rhythm section. Did Bruce have a 
clear idea of what he wanted from you on your collaborations with him,or were you allowed a certain measure of freedom? 

Bruce actually made me play Stick all the time, which I'm thankful for now, but I remember on the first tour , I didn't really know what notes I was playing all the time because I didn't know the instument that well. 
Musically, Bruce always seemed to give plenty of freedom to the players.Of course he had input to give but I felt he wanted the musicians to express themselves as well. 

SSR   Any chance of doing more recordings with Bruce? 

No phone calls to date. 

SSR   Getting back to "Spirit Moves".For the song "Shelter" you employ the Swahili language for some of the verses.Where did the inspiration come for this? 

Well I don't think I could do a credible job of writing and playing an African song ,but I've always enjoyed artists who incorporate different elements of "World Music".In "Shelter" there's a combination of African singers, Middle Eastern Duduk and percussion, synthy loops and Chapman Stick. I asked the singers to improv a bit and use the language of their choice. (they spoke Swahili, Congolese, French and English). 

SSR   When did you first begin playing Stick and do you still play "The Grid"? 

Well as I mentioned before I owned a stick when I began with Bruce Cockburn, but that was essentially when I started which is around '84. I'm not using the grid anymore (just a personal choice to rely more on effects than synths). 

SSR    Any plans on touring for "Spirit Moves" and are you gonna tour the U.S.? 

I don't think that's going to happen unless circumstances change quite drastically.CD sales would have to be phenomenal to justify the very large expense of touring. 

SSR   Thank you so much for your time Fergus! I usually ask only 10 questions for our interviews but what the heck! Here's one more.Any plans on attending some of the Stick Nights or Stick Seminars around the U.S? 

I've always wanted to go to one of the seminars but the opportunity has never panned out. Maybe sometime, I'll make it. 



"Toy Bin" 
Chapman Stick 
Fender bass 
Ned Steinberger upright electric bass 
Alembic F 2B pre amp 
Boss se-70 effects unit 
Mac G4 running Logic Audio, Reason 
Doyle custom bass cabinets 

SSR Interview with Terry Telson



We invite you to take a trip with us.A trip to a land filled with street corner folk musicians,Flower Power,peace rallies,long hair,Latin rhythms,world beats,and relaxing melodies.

That's quite a mix.

Then again,Terry Telson is quite an artist.With over 30 years of music coursing through his veins,Terry has been painting the aural landscape with his multi-instrument,multi-stylistic vigor.Pour yourself a cup of cyber green tea,light some incense, and let Stickist Terry Telson speak to your soul....



SSR   Thanks for spending a little time with us Terry. You've been playing music for over 30 years now. How did ya get started?


 I originally started out as a drummer way back in the late 50's all the girls liked the drummers in the bands at that time and I liked girls, so drums it was.Then along came the 60's, protest songs on acoustic guitars. Peace rallies and long hair. Well I thought I had allot to say too and it's pretty hard being a solo act and singing protest songs with drums hence an instrument change to guitar was in order.

It was the early days of the folk music scene in Chicago. Everyone had an acoustic guitar and used to sit around at the parks and play the tunes of the day by Dylan, Guthrie, Baez and so many others. It was at that time I discovered a lyricist in myself. I was plagued by them and still am, with lyrics running through my mind most of the time.

So I put together an act and started doing the coffee houses and clubs. I teamed up with a bass player Ray Teichman and we did the college circuit and clubs all around Chicago. At that time, others that were on the circuit were Steve Goodman, John Prine, Bonnie Koloc, Tom Dundee and Mick Scott all great players, so there was allot of inspiration to hang with it and be part of the then music scene. Ray and I went into the studio and did what was called an EP (extended play) album called "Bounty Man." It had four cuts on it.

I did that up until the mid 70's and decided to head west first stopping in the mountains of Arizona for a couple of years to get my head right and do my first full length 33 1/3 lp album called "While In Exile." When I had enough of clean mountain air I decided California was the place I needed to be to continue my musical journey. First landing in San Francisco and finally in Sacramento, playing in different bands in both places.

I picked up playing the Vibraphone while in San Francisco after seeing a street player down at Fisherman's Wharf playing them. I fell in love with them and so got a set myself. I guess it appealed to the early percussion days in me. I played them in a few different Latin Jazz bands having always been a huge fan of the Latin rhythms, congas and all the different percussive sounds, they can really get a killer groove going with the Latin rhythms.
Finally when I had enough of band dynamics about ten or so years ago, I decided I wanted to paint my own picture. I put together a studio and have barely come out of it since, except to eat once in awhile. It was somewhere in there that I decided I wanted to put together a body of work to leave behind, a certain sense of immortality I suppose. Something that says I was here and this is what I contributed to the arts and the gentler side of life.


SSR   When did your association with the Chapman Stick begin?


 About three years ago I ran across it on the internet and jokingly said to my wife honey I need one of these things, what is it. At that time they did not have any demos up and so I just blew it off as a hmmmm that's interesting. Then about two years ago I ran into it again on the net and this time they had the demos up of Greg Howard jammin' on it and my jaw dropped. My wife overhearing it playing said what is that? Well the two of us watched the video a few times and the next day I called up and ordered one. From that point on it became my instrument of choice.



SSR  Being a child of the 60's really comes through in your music. It is well orchestrated and every song flows with tremendous melody. How has your music changed in the last 25 yrs or so?


 Well the folk music had not changed in the basics of it, still acoustic guitar and protesting about one thing or another. What has changed though is that I hope I have gotten better at both the lyrics and the playing of it. What has evolved allot more than that though is my New Age, World Music Jazz instrumentals. I love them, because they allow me to experiment and push to the limits exploring new territory. My Stick has become a great instrument to use in them as well. There is a certain sort of freedom that the Stick allows that no other instrument has,I don't think. I believe it is because of the way the Stick is played. At least for me it does.



SSR   On your site you mention wanting to "bring relevant information to the fore front" through music during the late 60's.Do you still feel as strongly today as you did in the 60's?


 I'm not sure I ever left the 60's at least not fully. I have a song on my site an autobiographical one called "What Ya' Got To Protest Man." One of the chorus lines is "I believed it then I still believe it now, so why would I leave it all behind." I think that says it all for me. Even in my instrumentals I try to put that same sense relevancy in them, matching the music to the title to deliver the message.


SSR   What is your usual routine when writing/recording your music?


 That depends on whether it is an instrumental or vocal piece. With vocals as I said I have lyrics running through my head and I either use guitar or keyboard to develop the tune. With instrumentals I usually will sit and play with progressions and licks, then put them to a percussion rhythm to develop them. In either case though I rarely take more than a day or two to write a tune and record it. For me it has always been the tune is either there or it isn't. I loose interest in it if I try to go beyond that.


SSR   How much do you compose on the Stick?


It seems to me that there are basically two types of Stick players. The first which encompasses most of the players. They play it more as a solo instrument standing on it's own with the bass and melody. I don't mean to say they don't play in bands but more so that one could easily take the band away and let the Stick carry it all, much like Greg Howard's playing.
 The second type which is the way I use my Stick more is that of a lead instrument, something that needs to be backed up with other instruments, to complete the cut. I use the wonder of the technology of keyboards to do that. I guess my use of it falls more into line with my Vibes and guitar playing, both also as lead instruments. Larry Tuttle and Freeway Philharmonic, who is my favorite Stick player and Stick equipped band do it more in this vein.


SSR   It certainly appears that you have seen your fair share of clubs. How often do you get to perform nowadays?


 I don't perform live anymore for a few reasons. Primarily now what I want to do is record all of the music I have in me, to leave behind. I treat my compositions more like paintings, that is when it's done it's done and once committed to cd I rarely ever physically play it again on any of the instruments. After so many years of memorized tunes and playing them over and over again I prefer not to anymore. What is great about what I am doing now is every day or two starting on a new tune it always stays fresh to me now and I don't tire of them. Every now and again I think maybe I should put another band together......naw, I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing I love it. Although I ran into a lady violinist recently and we may put something together if for nothing else recording.



SSR   I noticed that some of your latest mp3s are from CD #83.That is quite an accomplishment! Have you been able to distribute your music nationally?


 What a great invention the internet was for musicians. Not only nationally, but internationally as well. I have many of my cds all over the world and that was only possible with the net. It really has opened up the world literally to many great musicians that otherwise would never have been heard at all. The other thing it has afforded me is to work on a few collaborative compositions and cds with other musicians form around the world. That is very cool.

SSR   Tell us about "Club Chops". 


 Having been part of music forums for allot of years, I was always pretty dissatisfied with their makeup. They are either brand specific or there is a snobbery on them that what and how they are doing their thing is cool and what you are doing is junk. I was pretty fed up with that and decided I wanted a place that was all about the music. It doesn't matter how one gets there or with what, the end result being the important thing. That's what Club Chops is all about, the music. Essentially it's all good there.
The second thing I was getting real bored with was rude behavior on forums and useless feedback comments given from a self serving egotistical point of view. Nothing constructive to say that would help the person to get better just a useless "your stuff is crap" give up music. That isn't happenin' at Club Chops.


SSR    O.K. Terry. Here comes the infamous Strada-Sphere "10th Question":



Seeing as how you are a child of the 60's we'll give ya a somewhat relevant question.

Describe what you feel the following folks would have sounded like had they taken up the Chapman Stick...

A. Timothy Leary

Leary would probably be doing some off the wall metaphysical meditation music with his Stick midi'd up to a sitar sound. That is when he was not in a self induced drug coma.


B. Rowan and Martin

They would be doing a political comedy act and instead of "sockin'" it to us, they'd be "Stickin'" it to us.


C. Ritchie Havens

Ah now here's a guy I like allot because his guitar playing was all about a rhythmic percussive sound. Havens would find an innovative way to play an open tuned Stick. He would do some rhythmic chord progression and never touch the bass side.


D. Dick Cavet


Cavet would be doing an Avante Garde classical sort of thing that would only be understood by a very few elitist Stick fans. 

SSR Interview with Jim Kam



It's a pleasure (and a goal) of Strada-Sphere Radio to bring you interviews with up and coming Stickists from around the planet.Once and a while you come across an artist whose statements strike a chord like a clear church bell in the early mists of morn'.Jim Kam is one such artist.His debut Stick CD, "Jimmy Nobody", resounds with clarity and passion. Jim was gracious enough to grant me some time and offer up a window into his world. 

SSR   Jim,tell us about your early years with the Stick. 

I got my first Stick in around 1982. It was an Ironwood 10 string; Grands were not available in those days. I had read the original interview with Emmett in the mid 70s in Guitar Player magazine and was quite intrigued. It was not till I was on a road trip in California that I actually saw one being played. From that moment, I knew that I had to have one. 

My friend and I were inLos Angelesat the time. I gave Emmett a call from a pay phone and went to see him early the next morning. 

A couple of months later, I had my brand new Stick in hand. I had sold my prized Gibson ES335 to finance it. In retrospect, I wish that I had been able to keep the guitar as well as get the Stick, but what the hey. I have not had much desire to play guitar in years. 

I wish that I could say that I clicked with the Stick right off the bat, but I didn't. Despite years of formal musical training in piano (and to a lesser extent, guitar), I never did get the hang of it during that period. Eventually, the Stick got relegated to the spare bedroom closet where it stayed for about 15 years, taken out once a year or so. 

I would have completely lost interest in playing had I not discovered Stickwire (Stick enthusiasts mailing list) on the internet. I started playing the Stick again. I think that this was in 1998. I ended up trading the Ironwood for a Cherry Grand Stick. Not long after that I attended a weekend Stick seminar in Dallas,Texas taught by Greg Howard and Guillermo Cides. Those 2 days of intensive lessons and performances were enough to give me a tangible sense of what I could do with the instrument and how to go about unraveling its mysteries. 

Since then, I have made it a point to try and attend a seminar every chance I get. I always come away having learnt something valuable, and made some new friends as a bonus. It's great to put a face to people I have had met via email. I have thus far attended seminars in Abilene, San Diego and San Jose. I look forward to going toDetroitsometime, and perhaps one of the Canadian events. 

SSR   It appears that your association with music and performing started at an early age.How has that helped you as a solo performer on the Stick? 

While I started piano lessons at an early age, I was never that focused on being an instrumentalist. Of course, I had to do the obligatory music school recitals etc. I might add that I did not much like them at the time. Later on in my teens, playing an instrument was a means of accompanying myself or other singers I played with. I did this with both guitar and piano. Much of my musical focus in my late teens and early twenties was as a vocalist in an ensemble context. During that time, I performed a lot with the Singapore Youth Choir, the Singapore Youth Choir Ensemble, and the Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company. I also played in a couple of bands. I only occasionally performed solo. 

So, when I started playing Chapman Stick as a soloist, and as mostly an instrumentalist, this was something new for me. 

I should add that being a soloist is quite a liberating experience. It is also a pragmatic choice. Being a parent and a working stiff, it would be hard to make time for both rehearsals as well as gigs, were I in a band. On the other hand, practice time is not a problem. Most of the time, I practice in the wee hours of the evening or early in the morning before work. 

SSR   Taking the Stick out to jam nights is a surefire way to raise some interesting questions from folks as well as a few blank stares.How did you approach the live, solo Stick situations after your performing hiatus during the 80's and 90's? 

I plunged into it head first. I credit my friend Jeff Schriber who for years has run the open mike at the Crooked Ferret pub inHoustonfor making me feel welcome enough to play in public. When I first started, I was pretty raw, and definitely not ready. Still, I persisted and practiced. As the fellow in Monty Python said,I got better. 

Yes, I do get questions all the time, mostly from other musicians. It does get a little tiresome at times. Still, I always take the time to name the instrument and give a brief description. I sometimes wish people would focus on the music rather than the instrument. The instrument is but a tool. It serves as a means for the performer to express himself / herself. If you close your eyes and do not hear anything compelling, then it doesn't matter how exotic the instrument looks, the player is not worth a darn. 

It's a bit of a dual edged sword. Sometimes playing a unique instrument opens doors, other times people do not want to play with you (either in a band context or have you open for them) because they cannot get over how different it is. 

I've been lucky. Most people I met have been very encouraging and accepting. 

SSR   Tell us about HAMM and how your involvement has helped you career. 

HAAM: Houston Area Acoustic Musicians was started by some friends of mine as a way to network, build clout with radio stations and hiring venues. It has been quite successful, and I am glad to be a member. It largely caters to the singer/songwriter community. 

As a Stickist, I am of course not an acoustic musician, but that doesn't seem to bother anybody. I am somewhat shy among strangers, so this has really been very good for me to get to know other players about town. Plus, I have gotten gigs that I might otherwise not know about. 

HAAM has it's own radio show. A live ½ hour weekly radio show on Public Radio that is hosted by Chris Collins (HAAM president) and features a different member every week. It's a great way to get exposure and some airplay. 

SSR   Congratulations on your new new album "Jimmy Nobody"! Tell us a little about the music and your recording process. 

"Jimmy Nobody" is a 5 cut EP made largely as a demo that I can hand out to club owners as part of a press kit with which to get gigs. Plus, it's nice to be able to sell a recording at gigs. 

As far as recording, I tried doing it at home by myself, but did not have much success. I eventually went to independent producer Mike Thompson of Ivory Tower Realizations for help in the process. As we were only doing Stick and vocals, there was no need to book time at the larger studios that he often works in. We did the recording in his home (Mac Pro-Tools based) studio. Thus we were able to keep the costs down. He gave me a package deal which was reasonably priced, so that it did not matter how much time it took. We continued on till I got weary, and it sounded half way decent. 

Since it was primarily meant as a demo, I had several goals. I did not want to do anything that I couldn't do live. Hence, no instrumental overdubs. That does not mean that we did not do punch ins. We did. Unlike Greg Howard's most excellent "Stick Figures", none of the tracks were done in a single take. Actually, the vocals were recorded after the instrumental, so there were obviously overdubs. Also, a sampled drone was added to "Remembering Allison" so I guess it is technically not a "Stick only" CD either. 

Mike was able to give me great feedback on where it worked, and where it didn't. I deferred to his judgment often, and am so glad I did. He has impeccable taste and a great ear. It is hard to be objective with your own efforts. Consequently he helped my refine my material. The choice of material was dictated by the goals of the project. I wanted to have some originals, but also tunes that the intended audience might be familiar with. 


6. You seem to stay pretty busy around the Houston area. Where are your favorite places to perform? 

I like 'em all, especially the ones that pay. Seriously, the venues that I play at are all good, and I am always grateful to be able to perform for an audience. My favorite event is the annual Spring "Craw Jam" in Anderson,Texas that I have played at for the last 4 years. It is a hoot! There are generally at least 300 people there at any one time, and music goes on fromnoontill the wee hours. It's a party that has grown to be an annual event that an awful lot of people look forward to. There is lots of barbecue and crawfish. People bring their families and pets as well. It is a total blast! It is held on a 75 acre spread about 60 miles out of Houston. I generally get to do a 45 minute set. 

SSR   What is your gear setup these days? 

My stage setup is kept pretty simple. My Stick is a 10 string graphite model (PASV4 pickups) tuned in matched reciprocal with medium gauge strings. For amplification I use a Bose PAS. I use a Raven Labs PMB II as a preamp for both Stick channels. The preamp mixes the Stick to mono. From the preamp, it goes via an XLR cable to one channel of the Bose. A Shure 58 microphone for vocals goes into the 2nd channel. I generally do not use any effects. I find the tone of the Stick through the Bose rich and expressive enough that it needs no further embellishment. 

For tuning, I use a Boss TU-2 chromatic tuner. The great thing about the Bose PAS is that I can load all my stuff onto a dolly and make it from the car in one trip. I can generally set up and be ready for sound check in under 15 minutes. That would never happen when I was using a conventional PA. The Bose sounds wonderful with a Stick. I don't think that there is a better way to go for a solo Stick player. 

On small gigs where I am just providing instrumental background music with no vocals required, I will use my SWR California Blonde. It's a great little amp suitable for smaller coffee house type gigs. Again, I do not use any effects other than the built in reverb. 

I own a RANE SP13 as well, but don't take it to gigs much because it means that I would have to bring my rack. Since I don't use other effects, there is little point in hauling the rack around. I did use it throughout in recording my CD. 

My Stick was retrofitted with a midi pickup, and I do own a Roland GI-20 midi interface and an XV5050 synthesizer module. I am quite fond of, but currently do not use them very much, and almost never in a live context. It doesn't fit well with my material. Perhaps if I got a looping setup, I might be more inclined to do more with synthesized sound. Right now, more gear acquisition is on a very low priority. I'd rather improve my chops than get distracted with new toys. 

SSR   I see you are a big fan of the "D" (Tenacious D,for the uninitiated).Very cool! I like their music and Jack Black is a genius! They need some Stick in their music.Do ya ever cover any of their tunes? 

I first saw the "D" on HBO years ago. That happened to coincide with when I first started going to open mikes, so it resonated with me. Plus they are so dang funny. Since then I have become an avid fan of Jack Black who reminds me of a young (and smarter) John Belushi. My kids like him too. 

I once covered "Kyle Quite the Band" on a request. It was a hoot. 


SSR   What's next for Jim Kam? 

Who knows? I am glad to be playing music, and somewhat relieved that I don't have to make a living doing it. It makes it fun, without the stresses that the full time pros inevitably have to face. At some point, I would like to do a full length project of originals. However this time, I likely will not set limits on instrumentation. In other words, I don't necessarily want to do a Stick only project. Plus, I have no particular need to go it alone. So I will likely have other musicians sit in. 

SSR  Ahh... the 10TH Question! Are ya ready? 
Election Year! What presidential candidate do you think would make a better Stickist and why? 

I am not particularly impressed with the Republocrats, and it would be just as well if neither of the major party candidates picked up the Stick. One less thing for me to be PO'd about. On the other hand, I think Ralph Nader would make a great Stickist since is smart and ready to look at alternatives. 

SSR  Thanx Jim.By the way,your site is fantastic! 

Thanks Juan. And thanks for doing this. I am indeed honored to be the subject of your interview. 

SSR Interview with Wayne Leechford




This installment of the Strada-Sphere Interview features the multi-talented Wayne Leechford.A musician on saxophone,flute,bass guitar,guitar,clarinet,and Chapman Stick,Wayne has visited every corner of the musical realm.He has been involved with many commercial recordings including soundtracks (The Whole Nine Yards),live television,radio broadcasts.The list goes on and on.He even performed on saxaphone at the White House for President Bill Clinton. 

Wayne records and performs with an impressive and diverse list of groups and organizations such as Ozone Quartet,Samecumba,Raleigh Saxophone Quartet,Wayne Leechford Trio,and the North Carolina Wind Orchestra,to name a few. And,believe it or not,he also finds time to teach sax,clarinet,bass, and Stick.Oh,and by the way,he is also a web designer and manages his own web design firm,Leechford Media.Talk about a Jack of all Trades! 

Wayne was kind enough to take some time out of his obviously busy schedule to answer some questions for Strada-Sphere Radio. 


SSR   Wayne, last year's tour with Ozone Quartet culminated with the successful release of the band's live album, "Live at Local 506". The album is racking up some great reviews. What are the band's goals for 2004? 


We are hoping to record a new studio CD. We have laid the groundwork over the last several months by doing improv sessions. We are working on arrangements now and plan to start recording over the summer. 


SRR   What did you do during the 3-year break? 


I continued to play and teach music. I am a full-time musician. I also had a chance to start working on some new Stick projects, Polydactyl and The Real Killers. Both are on a very part-time basis. They are side projects for other members of the band, so we get together when we have spare time. Unfortunately, neither one has produced any recordings yet. We have recoded material, but it remains unfinished. 


SSR   How on earth do you balance your time between Ozone, Polydactyl, The Real Killers, your Trio, etc, and your teaching? 


It's hard. Sometimes I am pulled more in one direction or the other out of necessity. Since the bands aren't working full time, I have more flexibility to do other things. 


SSR  You appear to be very passionate about teaching. How many students do you have on Stick? Tell us a little about it. 


Currently, I don't have any Stick students. I've found that most Stick players, including myself, are self-taught. I took a couple lessons with a couple different players, but that was more of a "check and make sure I'm doing this right" kind of thing. Most of the people that have called me for lessons are the same way. They take one or two lessons and then I never see them again. And, most of them are from out of town. There just aren't enough Stick students to go around. That is, unless you travel the world doing seminars! 


SSR  How is the Latin band Samecumba coming along? 


Very well. Latin music is becoming more popular all the time. I play my main instrument, the saxophone. We have a lot of bookings and the music is really fun to play with opportunities for soloing. 


SSR  You are also a web designer. How did you get into that? 


I started designing web sites back in 1996 because Ozone Quartet needed one. I taught myself how to do it and later took some classes. I work mostly with other musicians. 


SSR  Being a multi-instrumentalist has its obvious advantages. What would you say would be a disadvantage, if there are any? Do you prefer any one instrument to the other? 


The main advantage to being a multi-instrumentalist is that music never gets stale. There are constantly new challenges. Also, as a full-time musician, it makes your talent more marketable. However, there are not enough hours in the day to be a "master" of every instrument. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices on one instrument for another. And, the expense of owning and maintaining all those instruments! Since my main instrument is saxophone, I feel more comfortable when I perform. But, the Stick is a very enjoyable instrument to play and I like it very much too. I like them all! 


SSR   Any plans for a solo release? 


Not yet. I've done some sequencing in my home studio and have a few unfinished solo pieces lying around. I am very into electronica and would love to do a solo CD that incorporates electronic drums and synths, Stick, and saxes. 


SSR  Alright,now that you have our readers chomping at the bit to hear ya in action,where can future fans catch up with you? 


Most of my performing at the moment is with Samecumba. So, that means I'm not playing Stick much right now. Ozone Quartet is planning to do some shows over the summer 2004, but nothing has been booked yet. Check our web site, www.ozonequartet.com. My full schedule can be found at my web site, www.wayneleechford.com. 


SSR   Well I usually have something silly lined up for the final question,but I am stumped! So,let's see...ah yes! How was playing for President Clinton? Did ya get to talk to Mr. Clinton about the Stick?How was the food? 


Playing for President Clinton was an opportunity of a lifetime. Despite all the controversy, I think Clinton was a great President. America has never seen such prosperity across the board. I don't think Clinton knows much about the Stick, but he is a sax player! He told us about his personal sax collection. Apparently, the Selmer company custom-made a "Presidential Edition" saxophone for him. I wonder how he plays the sax without inhaling?? 


Thanx for taking time out from your busy schedule to answer a few questions Wayne.I really do appreciate it! 



With this installment of the Strada-Sphere Interview,we are introducing the "Toy Bin".A list of our interviewees gear.So,without further adieu, here's is Wayne's very own "Toy Bin". 


Warning:The following list is very "Drool-worthy",please have a bib handy! 

Chapman Stick XG with PASV-4 and GK-2AH MIDI pickups 

10-string Classic tuning, Fret Rails and Flaps Dual Nut 

David Eden WT-400 Traveler Plus 

David Eden D-115 1x15 bass cabinet 

SWR Goliath Jr. III 2x10w/tweeter bass cabinet 

Behringer KX1200 Keyboard amp (for MIDI) 

Peavey Classic 50 2x12 combo 

Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere 

Zoom 505 II Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal 

Zoom 506 Bass Multi-Effects Pedal 

SansAmp Bass Driver DI 

Roland GR-33 Guitar Synthesizer 

Roland JV-1010 Synth Module 

SSR Interview with Steve Adelson



Welcome to our SSR Interview with Stickist/guitarist Steve Adelson.Steve has been a Stickist since 1984,but his musical career started out as a guitarist.He has performed with legendary jazz guitarists Joe Pass,Jack Wilkins and Jimmy Ponder.He started his own music school in Brooklyn, N.Y., The Guitar Workshop,in 1977 and has made numerous recording,festival,seminar, and television appearances both as a guitarist and Stickist.He is a columnist and contributor for 
20th Century Guitar
 and has interviewed his share of guitar virtuosos such as Joe Satriani.Quite a busy man indeed!
Steve's music is steeped in Jazz traditions and his use of MIDI with the Stick within these settings is brilliant.One listen to Steve's latest CD,"The Answer's Inside" will find you sitting in a smokey,New York club,sipping warm Cognac and enjoying some of the best jazz the industry has to offer.His passion for his art and mastery of the Stick is evident throughout as every note and phrase brings on a bigger smile than the last.


SSR  Thanx for taking the time to answer a few questions Steve,I appreciate it immensely!
2003 appeared to be a vary active year for you with the NAMM shows,various Jazz festivals, and Stick events as
well.Did you manage to get into the studio during that busy year?

Actually I only did some minor studio sessions this year. I have intentions of recording a new CD and DVD combo this year of some new music. It will have to wait until all the musicians that I want are available. I'm also networking with some good record labels and this might take the project in another direction. We'll see.
It was a very varied year, being on both sides of the production process. Besides performing at some festivals, teaching at seminars and demonstrating at NAMM, I produced a jazz festival in my home town of Long Beach, NY. Quite interesting wearing this other hat. Dealing with 60 musicians, logistics, finances, publicity and all aspects of bringing this together was very educational and rewarding. I think in the long run, it will help my approach to my own career. I look forward to the 2004 version of the Long beach Jazz Festival and some high profile performances.


SSR  Your last recording,"The Answer's Inside", offered up the Stick in a
variety of jazz/fusion/be-bop-esque settings.I hear a lot of Joe
Zawinal (Weather Report era) sensibilities. It seems as though you
approach the Stick from a keyboardist's perspective rather than a
guitarist's on the tune "The Answer is Free".Am I off base here?

There's some truth to this observation. Listeners didn't realize how many of the sounds on "The Answer's Free" are Stick derived. The opening instrument that sounds almost like vibes, is MIDI Stick as well is the electric piano sound and the last solo which was influenced by Pat Metheny's synth guitar. I think of the Stick as part orchestra, part guitar, part bass. Juggling these possibilities in a musical way is the main goal. Arranging and orchestrating in a creative way is extremely challenging. The Stick offers so many possibilities. "Tap Dance" is pretty much Wes Montgomery inspired and emphasizes the guitar aspect with groovin' Paul Chambers walkin' bass lines all from the Stick. Contrasting, is "Woodstick Suite" with Tony Levin where we tried to explore the electric processing aspects. I think each of the eight tunes has a unique flavor.




SSR  You settle into more of a guitarist's role on "Nadda Chants".Who are
some of your influences; Guitar or otherwise?

That was natural, since I had Larry Coryell guest on that tune. I had to write something that was guitar based and find that guitar duo chemistry. The title refers to Larry's lifestyle that incorporates chanting on a regular basis. It was very enjoyable to do those solo interplays in the second half of the tune. Trading phrases with Larry and then doing improvised counterpoint was very stimulating.
The first part of that tune featured pianist Dennis Moorman playing a fantastically developed solo that to me is the highlight of the entire CD. Very strong playing. Dennis' piano playing brought all my ideas together and fit into the music wonderfully. It was a distinct pleasure to record with him. Unfortunately, Dennis past away last year. He'll be deeply missed as musician and friend.
Now referring to my guitar influences, there are many. At the top of the list would have to be Wes Montgomery for his beautiful tone and unbelievable ideas. A totally natural musician. Django Reinhardt's spirit and swingin' energy are a part of my consciousness. Pat Metheny is a major, major influence for his perception of the "big picture". Not just a great guitarist, as composer, arranger and performer, he's the best. Here's a partial list of other guitarists that I pay attention to: Michael Hedges, Stanley Jordan, Tuck Andress, John Fahey, Jimmy Raney, Jeff Beck, Allan Holdsworth and Ben Lacey. Ben's new to the scene but his musicaianship and technique blow me away.



SSR   Being a guitarist as well,did you find the transition to Stick a
smooth one and what did you bring to the Stick from your Jazz guitar
experience?

It sure helped to come from a guitar background. Strings is strings. Frets is frets. Yeah, I now have twice as many strings and huge frets, but my approach is definitely connected.
The Stick offers many, many more voicing possibilities and has really opened up my creative ideas, be it compositionally or from an improv standpoint. The main transition benefit was the ease of application of music theory. The Stick's tuning is ingenious and makes it extremely easy to navigate. The geometry and shapes of chords and scales are actually simpler than guitar.


SSR  You're a veteran Stickist of 20 years now.How has the Stick changed
you as a musician with regards to composition?

As I mentioned previously, the palette of possibilities on the Stick is very inspirational. So many variables and every creative variation is there for the player to explore. There's no doubt that the tone range, the string set up, the tapping technique and other less obvious properties steer the player toward creative horizons. It's been very inspiring.



SSR  You use MIDI to great effect and never abuse it.Your implementation
always serves the music.When did you first experiment with it?

I probably first used MIDI in the late '90's. It's easy to over use the system. I was very aware of this and limited the synth sounds to 2 or 3 tunes. I knew I was successful when listeners couldn't tell who was playing what. I think the MIDI instrument shouldn't draw attention to itself but only contribute like any other instrument.


SSR   I live in the central Florida area and I am aware that you made an
appearance at the 1st ever Southeast Stick Seminar last year ( I missed
it! ). How was that?

Lotsa' fun. Thanks to Steve Lemke for organizing the event and making it run smoothly. It should be pointed out that these seminars universally bring out some very nice people. I've done probably around ten of these seminars, and it's always a pleasure to meet the students, share information and socialize. In 2003 I did the Southeast Seminar, The Montreal Seminar (organized by Mitch Polgar) and the big World Stick Conference in San Jose (organized by Bob Culbertson). Hats off to all the organizers and the students who made them work so smoothly. I've always said that a successful teaching experience, teaches the instructor as well as the student. I've been teaching for 33 years and I always enjoy the Stick Seminar experience. I'm looking forward to 2004's seminars.


SSR   Tell us about your school,The Guitar Workshop.

I started teaching in 1971 on guitar of course. Teaching in my house and at small studios. Within about 4-5 years I opened up a store front music school. Nothing big, just a place to teach private students and have small jazz concerts. At times I've had some other instructors, but right now I do all the teaching. My students are varied in level, style, age, personality and all. This keeps it interesting. I usually have a 10 to 1 ratio of guitar to Stick students.


SSR   What can a student expect from your lessons?

Whatever they want. I don't teach one style. Each student brings a manuscript book and I develop a story line of information as we go along. Each student ends up with their own unique guitar instruction manual over a period of time. I teach every aspect, theory, technique, repertoire, improv, whatever. I also expose the student to music that maybe they never would have heard. If they like it great. If not..... it's back to Nirvanna tunes.


SSR   O.K. Steve,you are aware of our "10th Question" are you not?It's a
silly, if not revealing, query. Part whimsy, part psychology,and all in
fun.Here goes...

Who,from the following list, would make a fantastic Stickist and why?
Why not (carefull! )?

1. Joe Satriani
2. Charlie "Bird" Parker
3. Shroeder (from "Peanuts")
4. Pablo Picasso
5. C.S. Lewis (author, "The Screwtape Letters","The Chronicles of
Narnia")


Probably Satch. I interviewed him for Twentieth Century Guitar magazine last year. He plays some of that tapping style on guitar already, so he would easily acclimate. And I think he's very musical and melodic. Of course so was Bird, but blowing into a Stick rarely gets positive results. Shroeder, was that the dirty kid? Too small. Picasso? Too dead. For your information, there is a Pikasso Guitar built by Linda Manzer in Toronto. It has 42 strings. C.S. Lewis? Not familiar with his writings. Maybe Jerry Lewis.
Thanks. The interview was fun.

SSR Interview with Diego Souto



Diego Souto is our featured SSR Interview this time around.Diego hails from Buenos Aires and is a former chemist.One listen to the uncanny blend of grace and violence in his music and you will quickly realize the connection between his musical visions and his alchemist sensibilities.But don't let these terms pigeon-hole his art; Diego's musical journeys invite us all to explore the wonder and beauty of life and truth.And ,like Diego's music,they are often filled with unsuspected surprises... 




SSR: What made you pick up the Stick in the first place? 


DS: Music made me do it, I believe... She makes a requests and sees which one of us is ready to respond.More than one musician playing together in perfect communion becomes possible within one single body... The ying and the yang united by a purpose.... That is the reason for The Stick to exist and that is the reason I picked up this particular instrument. 



SSR: Have you studied music theory? 


DS: Yes, I've studied lots of music theory, only to let it go afterwards... but I didn't get my instruction thru the usual academic channels. My basic need since I was a child was to overcome my own ignorance, but for some reason music academies were never able to provide me the answers I was looking for. Afterwards, I realized that I was not asking about music, but using music for asking about life itself. I am an authentic seeker of the truth! 



SSR: Your music is a mixture of everything and anything imaginable.It is at once haunting and beautiful,violent and peaceful. What influences your art and where do you see it going? 


DS: Tools I work with influenced me more than anything. Even using a different Stick, or a different recording system, influences the result of my work. For example: During the 90s I bought an old sampler module to use it with the first GK2A controller I had put on my Stick. If you listen to those recordings I made before buying such device, you will find that I used to use technology in a more standard way: drum machines, sinths, and so on... but once I discovered that sampled sounds not only change their pitch but also their speed when transposed (a simple fact that everybody knows now)...the shock was immediate, and my style, when I am using electronics, was becoming increasingly ...fractal... I would say. 



SSR: On your release "Stick'nSouto", you fuse the beautiful melodies of Argentinean Folk music with modern and abstract Electronica. Where did the idea for this project come from? 


DS: Retro-futuristic, as a newspaper said about one of the projects I was working on.... 

More than just an "idea" for a certain release, this is a quality I always carried with me, even during my extremely electronic periods, like for example Ojos amnióticos -Amniotic Eyes-. 
I am a post -internet guy, so I can get my "spiritual food" from anywhere in the world, but the voice of my land is omnipresent. Tradition is in the air of every culture, you can sense its scent it if you pay enough attention. I am sure this is the same in Alabama, Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro: folk music is the voice of your culture, it tells who you are in so many ways. 
It is a mistake to think that traditional music is something fixed, rigid something that does not evolve, or cannot be improved. What is rigid and unable to evolve is many people who plays this music.... of course they would die before considering me one their own :-).... For me, it is just another beautiful color in the palette I chosen to hold. 
Curiously, a newest wave, "New tango" (a mix of tango and European techno) is becoming a huge success in Argentina. I am looking forward to see how it reflects in young generation's clothes. 

SSR: Tell us about a typical day in the studio with Diego. 


DS: It depends of which project is taking place. First of all, I do not have a specific place for making music. Of course there are places in my residence where the "concentration of toys" increases... but since I am a big fan of practice, you can find me practicing in the kitchen, while I am watching TV, in the patio... 

If Ars Cottolengo -a bandoneon, drums and Stick trio - is recording, I become the "orchestra-man", for I am the only one who knows how all these machines work. 
If it's me working alone, oh it's so good. I love even when everything goes wrong, this simple act of voluntary effort is something I am so fond of. Spending all night recording a simple track.... 
I hate professional recoding studios. For an independent artist like me, it is like taking a cab: you cannot avoid looking at the clock and calculating beforehand how long your money will take you this time... 

SSR: Samples are a big part of your sound. How easy (or difficult) is it to re-produce your music live? 


DS: I do not even care about it. Studio work and Performance are totally different situations, where I can use different resources and where I aim different results. I do not see performance as the place where I show what I have done at studio. I see performance as the moment I become the nexus in that magical connection between people and music. During this particular mass called performance, the musician is the monk, the music is God, and the stage is a pulpit. But this does not mean that I take my role too solemnly at all, it only means that I am aware of my responsibilities. 

Studio work is playful fun, especially for someone like me who like to spend hours and hours working alone or with friends at a little studio of my own. A great opportunity to get in touch with our real essence, which is waiting to appear under our personality's mask. 

SSR: You get an incredibly deep and fat bass growl out of your Stick,especially on your tune "Deceptive Revelations". What gear do you use? 


DS: Everything that comes to my hands. At home I have a considerable amount of both -very- old and new equipment at my disposition, so that I can choose which of them I will use at a certain moment. 

I am kind of collector of any trash that sounds... A really old Dynachord echo lies at the same room with a PC computer, waiting for its opportunity. Recently I was using a speaker I made with an old phone to use it as a microphone in order to record some voices. 
Performance is a different thing, I prefer equipment which is light, small, and quick for real-time controlling. During the recent shows of Ars Cottolengo in Capital Federal I used various multi-fxs chained, like a Lexicon processor, an old Alesis Quadraverb GT, a Lexicon morphing processor, and even a small Zoom 505II pedal, which I like a lot because it provides me loads of very low-fi effects. If performance requires samples, I still have an old portable Yamaha sampler module chained to midi. 
Regarding amplification, I am not a fan of guitar and bass amplifiers, for they use to have strong personalities, I prefer a good mixer/PA/Speakers combo. But if the situation demands it, I prefer the Peavey Mark III for the bass, and a Marshall Stereo Chorus for the melody. 

SSR: It seems that groups like King Crimson and the Residents enjoy a great level of popularity and success in South American countries. Do you find that your style of music is largely accepted in your country? 


DS: Argentineans are quite fond of contemporary tonalities; just listen to tango and you will see what I mean. . 

And Brazilian middle class loves industrial and noise music, just check Brazilian labels like Nemo Hipocampo, Noage, Umbigo Group...etc. 
I don't know about the rest of South America. Entirely different and distant countries... 

SSR: What's next for you and are you planning on coming to the states? 


DS: The next step is to tour with Ars Cottolengo and see where music take us, and to record a solo album with compositions and arrangements for a particular tuning I am using since 1998. Iam deeply involved with what I use to call NSST: new standard Stick tuning, it is an adaptation to Stick from guitar's new standard tuning. So I am writing etudes and also arranging compositions for this particular tuning. And the results of this work are being recorded in order to release new material. This is barely related to technology, as you can see. But simplicity is something that any musician should not forget. If you cannot turn off the machines and be happy just playing an acoustic guitar, or plugging your Stick directly to a small amplifier... you missed something. Of course technology will reappear in my life soon, as I can stand too much time without playing with my toys... 


And I plan to go to USA as soon as a manager-representative makes me a decent offer... 


SSR: OK Diego,here's that 1 question in the SSR Interview that is just plain silly but may reveal something to all of our readers... 


Which one of the following cartoon/comic book characters would make a better Stickist and why? 


A. The Incredible Hulk 

B. Thor 
C. Snoopy 
D. The Pink Panther 

DE: Well, I had to do some mind research on this one, my friend, for these characters do not belong to my culture. 


Pink Panther would be the best, because his music would be as mind-blowing & psychedelic as his episodes... this would be a marvelous thing to listen to. 


Thor would be the worst, this guy seems to hide his lack of sexual organs behind muscles.... so as a musician he would be an useless, virtuouso Stickist... 


The Increible Hulk would be an excellent customer of Stick enterprises, having to buy a new Stick episode after episode, for he would destroy them every time he becomes big and green. SE would love him. 


Snoopy would not play Stick, only thinking of playing it.