On January 1, 1998 I got my first Chapman Stick. The Stick is a string instrument designed around tapping directly on the strings, thereby the technique is similar to that of a keyboard in many ways.

My teacher, Steve Osburn, was a Stick player, and his store was one of the only dealers in the country. I had a chance to try a used instrument for a few hours in a side room, and I was hooked. Some of the composition ideas on False Ground were conceived on the Stick. Later, I performed and recorded with it. I would have loved to use it in the course of a music degree, but this is an obscure instrument with less than 40 years of history, and no collegiate program existed. On the other hand, being a relatively new instrument, it has musical possibilities that remain somewhat uncharted.

The Stick has fluctuated in significance in my life and music, but remains one substantial element.