Nick Beggs’ Stick Albums: Stick Insect
Fans of the Beggion will know that he has released two rather splendid solo albums – ‘Stick Insect’ and ‘Maverick Helmsman’ – both, although very different, are exclusively Chapman Stick orientated albums. Both albums are available via digital download and also on CD from Stick inventor Emmett Chapman’s ‘Stick Enterprises’ label.
Today, we feature Nick’s first solo long-player Stick Insect.
The history of Stick Insect dates back to 1998 when Nick was on tour in Finland as a part of the John Paul Jones Trio. Whilst there, he was approached by representatives from the Finnish Cultural Office who asked him if he would consider making an exhibition of his paintings for display in the National Library in Tampere, Southern Finland. They also wanted music to accompany the exhibits…. From this chance meeting – eighteen months later – ‘Stick Insect’ as an album was born.
The album was significant in many ways, as it was shortly after this that Nick announced his first solo gig, designed to showcase tracks from the (then) forthcoming ‘Stick Insect’ album. Nick played The Orange in Kensington, London on May 12th the following year.
Speaking at the time of release, Nick describes the album:
“It is a Stick record but it’s not a Stick record in the purest sense. Someone like Bob Culbertson would turn on a recorder, play one performance and that would be it. It’s not that sort of record.
I’ve tried to approach the instrument from my understanding of it. And so I’ve overdubbed. Although they’re all one pass pieces, there are other sounds in there, samples and stuff. There’re no drums in terms of real drums, it’s programmed. Somebody played some bouzouki on it for me and somebody played some piano and keys on one track, but other than that it’s all Stick”
*Interview courtesy of Jim Reilly at Stick Enterprises Ltd
And if that wasn’t enough, the cover art spectacularly features imagery taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Triffid Nebula. Does it get better??!
To round off today’s article, we feature video footage of Nick on stage in 2009 performing Tava, taken from the ‘Stick Insect’ album. Enjoy.
*Video content courtesy of DokiDok
For more on Nick and his Chapman Stick, keep checking KajaFax! Our next article focuses on his second Solo album, ‘Maverick Helmsman’.