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Full Circle

by Rob Martino

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Differential 05:16


In the few years before and after the One Cloud CD release in 2010, I played over 100 live performances around the United States, including appearances at progressive rock events, TEDx, "Stick Night" concerts with fellow Chapman Stick players, and the Echoes radio program. I opened for the Adrian Belew Power Trio on November 2, 2014, one of my last performances before going on a musical hiatus for some time. I recorded this “dress rehearsal” shortly before that show. I recently re-listened to this for the first time in years, and was pleasantly surprised - it's easily the best complete performance I was able to capture during my gigging years.

These pieces continued to evolve following the One Cloud album release, and I think here they are more sonically interesting and the performances more compelling, even with the occasional rough edges that come with a live recording. In fact, if I could only share one definitive recording with the world, representing my best attempt so far at creating solo progressive rock inspired music on the Chapman Stick, it would be this performance. It also marked the end of my first 10 years focusing on the Chapman Stick as a solo instrument.

The title “Full Circle” is a variation on the name of my composition "The Long Circle"- I first discovered the Stick via Tony Levin, who played the instrument as part of an updated King Crimson lineup in the 1980s along with Adrian Belew. And now here I was many years later, finding myself opening for Adrian! He was gracious, and they put on a fantastic show - it was certainly one of the biggest highlights of my modest music career.

As opposed to the painstaking approach on the One Cloud album, with many takes and edits in an attempt to get everything "just right", this one-take performance is mostly intact with some minor edits. Greg Howard, with many years of performance and production experience on the Chapman Stick, co-produced and mastered the album to draw the most out of the recording, and I’m quite happy with the way it turned out!

A big thank you to Dusty Hill for inviting me to perform at this show at St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin.

Also thanks to James Bizon and Rodrigo Serrão for some pre-release feedback on the album.

And of course for bringing to life and continually refining such an inspiring tool of musical expression, making the existence of this music possible - Emmett Chapman

Grand Stick, PASV-4 pickup, mirrored 4ths tuning (bass - EADGCF, melody - BEADGC)
BassLab StepABout preamp->Line6 POD HD500->Strymon BigSky reverb recorded direct to Apple Logic Pro X


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By Ian Scott Anderson
Copyright BMG Monarch

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Copyright BMG Monarch

Wond'ring Aloud
By Ian Anderson
Copyright Chrysalis Music Group Inc.

A Reunion
By Kerry Minnear, Derek Shulman, and Ray Shulman
Copyright Chrysalis Songs (Digital O o/b/o Alucard Pub

The Call (From Five Mystical Songs)
By Ralph Vaughan Williams
Copyright Schirmer E C Music Company o/b/o Galaxy Music Corp.


released June 1, 2021

Produced by Rob Martino and Greg Howard
Mastered by Greg Howard

Lagoon Nebula photo - Eddie Trimarchi / Astroshed
Performance photo - Brandon Wu

Stick and Chapman Stick are registered trademarks of Stick Enterprises, Inc.


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Rob Martino Edinburgh, UK

Solo Chapman Stick artist

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