Dale Ladouceur talks about the Chapman Stick
DL:† The music that I write is definitely been carved out the way it has because of the fact that I ran on this stick and it such a unique instrument that you get to accompany yourself.† Itís exciting because itís only been around for 35 years and the guitar is like 300 years old, so itís exciting to be on the forefront of that instrument.
Itís closest relative is the piano, you know five bass strings and melody strings unless you have the 12 string stick, for the true masochist and itís all tapped so you have independent based and melody lines being tapped out.† So I guess it is closest related to the piano.† There is a five-string MIDI stick with the five melody strings being MIDIed, made accessible and there is a ten stringed grid with all ten strings MIDIed but thatís an entirely different instrument.† But all come from Stick Enterprises.
KS:† So yours was stolen for a short period of time?
DL:† It was so dreadful.† You have no idea how I was feeling at that point on the way home.† It was terrible, but luckily an idiot stole my stick and I got it back about eight days later.† Remarkable, unbelievable.† But it was wonderful because while it was stolen the music community was rallying around organizing a benefit, which was just really touching because this music community here in Edmonton is really closely linked and everyone supports each other.† Itís really quite a strong community.
KS:† How unique is the sound?† The first time I heard it I was mesmerized.† Are there lots of other instruments that can actually make the same sound or does it have its own?† My impression was its absolutely unique.
DL:† Yes it is.† And itís exciting because itís exciting because itís like inventing a new colour.† There is not a lot of new instruments that are really, really unique.† Itís the only stringed instrument thatís hammered except for the piano, but your replacing the little hammers with your fingers and the fact that itís stereo instrument you can process the two sides differently so it can sound even more dynamic and more unique.† Bare bones I can recognize a stick from a guitar or bass or what have you.
DL:† There are graphite ones, but I prefer wood.† My first stick was Iron wood, Brazilian Iron wood and my new stick is Rose wood and they are both really heavy dense woods which is good because it is so dry here, you donít want it really bowing, but its very much a living thing.
DL:† I think it seems that a lot of the music being created now tends to be less musical and more industrial sounding and its interesting that thereís a correlation between that and human beings moving away from nature and more towards an industrial kind of a sense.† So the music is reflecting that, which I find really interesting.