Trevor Stewart grew up in a household with an eclectic record collection. Music from The Beatles, Trinidad, Tchaikovsky, Santana and bossa nova frequently filled the air. He began studying music at the age of eight with piano lessons. What was most appealing to him were the overtones that would rig out when the floor pedals were held down and a big chord was played. "I would come home from school and play these big, long chords at piano when no one else was around" he exclaims "the sound of one big chord brought a sense of peace, an almost other-worldly experience".
With such a profound experience at the piano, the cello seemed more magical "The thought that I could make that sound by pulling a stick over a string was beyond me. I requested one from the orchestra teacher and received a viola by mistake. After realizing the viola was much easier to carry around on the school bus I decided that maybe this really wasn't a mistake after all".
Rap music hit the mainstream on MTV when Trevor was ten. Inspired by the groups at the time, he wrote a number a few songs and sent them to several record companies. Most replied back with one sending many of their own records wanting to hear and see more of the ground. "I was too shy at the time to follow up with the company, but it gave me the confidence to be able to pursue music".
The love of rap and rock music eventually became a love for many different types of music. "At the time, I found pop music limiting. There would be a lot of guitars, drums and vocal. I soon rediscovered that music from different cultures could be so transporting. It opened my imagination to what music can be".
He studied viola and composition at Wichita State University. He soon found an instrument that would change his life. "I found the Chapman Stick online by accident. I immediately knew I had to pursue it, so I ordered it having never played one before". Trevor is one of the very few "Stickists" residing in Kansas.
In Performance- Trevor's solo performances are often widely eclectic covering many genre's from classical and jazz to rock with original compositions. His concerts often consist of viola and hammered dulcimer on top of live loop recording with the Stick which has the feeling of a full ensemble. In 2016 Trevor toured with Tony Orlando's Great American Christmas.
Earthlines- Trevor led a quartet named Earthlines which consisted of a Native American flute, steel drums and percussion. The group earned a standing ovation for their performance at the celebrated Walnut Valley Festival in 2009 and 2010.
On TV- Earthlines first album titled 'Dreamwalking' is the soundtrack to a documentary titled ‘Return to PrairyErth‘ which stars New York Times bestselling author William Least Heat-Moon. Trevor's music served a large part in the soundtrack of the 2007 regional PBS documentary 'Flint Hills: Meditations from a Kansas Prairie'.
On the Radio- 'Dreamwalking' reached the top 10 on new age radio playlists according to zonemusicreporter.com. The album has been heard on the nationally syndicated radio programs 'Hearts of Space' and 'Echoes' where it reached the top 25. Trevor's music is heard frequently on the Nightcrossing's radio program on 90.1 KHCC and on 89.3 KCUR in Kansas City.
In Schools- In 2010 Trevor began giving educational programs to schools around the Wichita area. His performances include musical instruments from around the world in order to teach about international cultures. Creating new music with the students is a way of finding what inspires us and connects us to each other.
Passing Through- Primarily performing solo, he has also contributed to various groups and projects such as the Native-American music group Passing Through which was nominated for a Native American Music Award in 2006 and an Indian Summer Music award in 2005. Trevor's playing also appears on the album 'Flood' by Telarc label blues recording artists Moreland and Arbuckle.
The Chapman Stick- The Chapman Stick (R) is a unique musical instrument invented by Emmett Chapman in 1969. It consists of a long fret board with twelve strings spanning a bass and guitar range. Sound is produced when the strings are "tapped" against the frets by the fingers. An electronic pickup is used to amplify the sounds. This new technique allows the musician to use both hands in order to play multiple parts like a piano while having the direct fingers-to-strings control and feel similar to a guitar.
The model of Stick that Trevor uses utilizes a MIDI pickup on the upper strings which can trigger a synthesizer while simultaneously playing the natural sound of the Stick. Mr. Chapman continues to manufacture the Stick at his home in Woodland Hills, CA. See www.stick.com for more about the Chapman Stick.