Guillermo Cides

Tribute to Bach 2000 CD import $16.
Mundo Records, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Faithful to the grand design of Johann Sebastian Bach the composer and orchestrator. Faithful to his own disciplined art of live Stick musicianship. But how do you accomplish both? How does Argentine artist Guillermo Cides mold his standard 10-string Stick into one of Bach's delicate voices, then expand its sound and spirit to create violin solos and sections, harpsichord counterpoint, acoustic Spanish guitar with slightly muted strings, English bells with ringing strings, pipe organ, an intimate chamber quartet, and finally Bach's full open air orchestra?

And how do you transform a Stick tapping fretboard to fulfill all of Bach's instrumental voices using nothing but subtle "finger effects" and standard guitar electronic effects to capture the spirit and substance of the music? There is no MIDI here. All recorded sounds originate from the Stick strings themselves. Some pieces are played in live solo, as with "Contrapuntus 1", "Preludes and Fugues in D Minor", "Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major", and "Preludes and Fugues in C Major" (the arpeggiated chordal accompaniment to "Ave Maria" without the melody line). Others are orchestral in scope, with much overdubbing and sophisticated audio signal processing, as with "Suite No. 2 in B Minor", "Concerto for 2 Violins and strings in D Minor", and "Brandenburg Concert No. 3 in G Major".

Cides never fails to ennoble and substantiate this new stringed instrument in his bold recording concepts, now turned classical. This newly released CD, complete with symbolic graphics and a booklet in tribute to Bach in Cides' own words, is now available through Stick Enterprises. What a rich contribution to the fretboard tapping community - many thanks to Guillermo "El Cid" Cides.

Primitivo 1998 CD import $16.
Mundo Records, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Primitivo is a synthesis of ancient and futuristic musical cultures all bearing the imprint of a single artist's style.

The compositions are forceful and graphically clear. The Stick is presented with great sonic diversity by way of some complex and interesting audio signal processing. The musical sources as I hear them include ancient Argentine, classical Spanish, Baroque and modern day King Crimson (complete with tape looking techniques in the recording production).

The Stick is multi-faceted on this album, as a primitive and somewhat atonal instrument, as a rhythmic driving force, and as an almost acoustical instrument in the pristine high melodic range.

Guillermo has masterfully used The Stick to reveal several levels of his personality as an artist, from the primitive to the advanced technological and with plenty of the Latin temperament thrown in.

El Mundo Interior de Los Planetas 1996 CD import $16.
Mundo Records, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Guillermo's romantic and passionate approach to music and The Stick shows through in everything from the title (translated "the interior world of the planets" is an Argentinean espression referring to the inner workings of the soul) to its elaborate artwork, to the beautiful music within. This album explores a very wide range of Stick sounds both clean and heavily processed (Guillermo is not afraid to crank up the distortion when he wants to). There are sharp attacks and volume swells, layered to the best musical effect. All the music and sounds were created with The Stick, with the exception of a drummer on two songs. Guillermo covers a spectrum of musical styles and plays each with authority.