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Various Artists

StickWire 2002 Compilation 2002 CD $15.

If there is one thing that Stick players universally like to do almost as much as playing music, it is to talk about the Stick. The StickWire community is a thriving internet forum where, each day, dozens to hundreds of Stick players exchange ideas, tips, tricks or anything else they feel like talking about. With the wide variety of tastes and styles present, the idea was raised to put together a compilation CD of music contributed by various StickWire participants.

Utah Stick player Tom Cram stepped up to the task of taking submissions and putting the final work together. In the end, Tom managed to pull off the seemingly impossible. He took a broad cross-section of recording Stick artists, each with a different recording technique, and put together a cohesive collection that flows quite nicely. The end result is a professional and sleek packaged collection of music reflecting a diversity of musical directions and styles.

Colin Jenkinson starts off this compilation with a dramatic looped piece called "Experience Cloud". This flows nicely into "Park", a haunting composition submitted by Mitch Polgar. From there D.E. Johnson takes you "outside" again with his rendition of "Prelude and Resurrection of the Mountain King". The CD then continues on a wild ride with "Santa Fe" by Kent Rytting, "Holding Hands" by Chris Crain and "No Fanfare for a Fallen King" by James P. Silvestri.

Midway through the CD is a contribution from Italian Stick artist and teacher, Virna Splendore. Her track "Solitude and Moondream" is a soundscape into acid jazz recording that is the stuff urban after hours clubs are made of. The up and down ride then continues as the ethereal Splendore tune gives way to the Micah Ball submission "Unclench Your Truth Hole" (sort of a Stick meets Buzzcocks meets Adrian Belew piece).

The music mellows again after that as two loop laiden pieces follow in Glenn Poorman's "The Frantic Nature of Your Call" and Ark Durkee's "I Have Seen it from Midsea". From there, Louis Hesselt van Dinter brings us "Crux of the Biscuit" followed by "India Ink" by Tom Cram himself, "Prelude to the Night" by Johannes Korn, "Wrath of Grapes" by Brian Baggett, "Thoughts of Home" by Jim Kam, and "Surrender 2 Love" by Glenn Turner and Russell Keating.

Standouts? They all are. Like the "Stick Night 99" video and CD, this compilation showcases the different things you can do with The Stick and gives you a sneak peak into the personalities of some of it's players.

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