Stick creator, 2-handed tapping pioneer, improvisor, tennis player, astrology enthusiast, inventor – this list goes on. During a live performance in the late 60’s, Emmett dropped his guitar pick and began tapping with both hands on his homemade 9-string guitar. Five years later, the Chapman Stick was in production and the rest, as they say, is history. Here is Emmett in a studio performance the year before the official release of the Chapman Stick.
The 10 solos and duos on Emmett’s 1985 release, Parallel Galaxy, display his fully developed, 2-handed technique on the instrument. Both the instrument and the album’s first track, Back Yard – a duet with younger brother Dan on Harmonica – feature in the Extended Edition of the 1984 film Dune.
Emmett joins the lineup of most Los Angeles-area Stick Night performances, which generally includes a January show in Anaheim during the annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show such as this one in 2016.
“The true importance of this record is in introducing The Stick both as a solo voice and as a compositional tool. Does it work? It does and extremely well. Chapman is a skilled player and his Stick alternately burns with fire and soothes with ice as he taps his way through both his original songs… and on the covers which include the great John McLaughlin composition ‘A Lotus on Irish Streams’. ‘Lotus’, which was written for guitar, piano and violin, sounds as full as the Mahavishnu version and even goes beyond…” – Adam Seligman, Jazziz, July 1986
“The Stick sounds like no other instrument; rather, it sounds like several instruments at once, played by three or four men. On ‘Parallel Galaxy’, he is joined now and then by his brother Dan on harmonica, by a drummer (Bruce Gary), and by a ‘vocal effects’ specialist named Josh Hanna, but even on the cuts that are played without accompaniment he creates an astonishing mulit-instrumental illusion entirely without overdubbing.” – Leonard Feather, L.A. Times Calendar, June 1985