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Music

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Parent Issue
Day
6
Month
January
Year
1975
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(Reprinted froni the Milwaukee Bugle American.) SVNINGEMINI: third sign. Mutable, airy and masculine. I May 21 to June 21) "You are the communicator of the Zodiac, easily recognizable for vuur active mind, quick wit and conversational ability. Many people bom in this Sign (Mercury, messenger of the gods isyour planetary tuier) arefound in occupations where correspondenee, writing, iransmissinn r the exchange of ideas play a large part. Gemini Chick (Armando Anthony) Corea visited recently with his group, Return to Forever. Featured was Chic on electric and acoustic keyboards, bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Lenny White, and, the newest member of the group. Al Di Meola. The group played selections from Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (Polydor 5536), from their latest LP, Where Have I Known You Before (Polydor 6509), and treated the near capacity crowd with a gJimpse of what is to come on their new album: The Celebration Suite. Performing with Corea was the Chuck Mangione Quartet. The interview with Corea took place after the concert. BUGLE: Where did you get the nickname "Chick"? COREA: It was given to me by an aunt. She used to pinch my cheek and say, "Chicky,Chicky!" BUGLE: Your father was a musician and gave you your first job, right? COREA: Yea, he plays trumpet and bass. He gigs around the Boston area and plays dance music and show music, sometimes in small groups for weddings. He taugJit me liow to read and write music; (with feigned dignity) he made me musically literate. BUGLE: Did you study music formally? COREA: No. BUGLE: It's probably tough being on the road and meeting the press. Somebody plops themselves down next to you and says, "Hey, let's talk!" But you stress communication not only within your music but outside of it, like with group members. How do you establish this communication? COREA: We have problems like everyone else except we use communication as a basic solvent between members. True communication isn't yelling at one another. It is giving out something with an intention and having someone receive not just the words but also the intention. It's the most fundamental thing in life. You are successful to the degree that you are in communication with yourself, your fellow human beings and your environment; to the degree that you are aware of these things. BUGLE: What sort of feedback do you get from your audiences that enables you to decide whether you're communicating or not? COREA: I can know. I know without hearing any sounds. I know by just the audience being there how they're getting it. Did you ever say something to anyone and you can teel whether they've got it or not? Of course if they give you a verification of the tact and they say "Yea, we've got it!" like applause, we know they've gotten it. BUGLE: If you don't feel the audience is appreciating what you 're doing at any given time what can you do? COREA: I can improve my ability to communicate! (Laughter) It's never the audience's fault. It only is if they choose for it to be. If the music is put in a familiar fanguage and in a way they can relate to, they get it! BUGLE: You stress this responsibility of the artist; youïe not really in favor of ego-tripping, of neglecting your audience. Do you see a contrast between the personality of a Miles Davis (whom you've worked with) and your own? COREA: Absolutely. We're at two different ends of the scale. Even though I love him and he's an excellent musician, one who's taught me a lot of music. BUGLE: You've said that when you see an artist who's using his talents and techniques to créate a music way beyond the ability of people to connect with, you feel it's a waste of energy. COREA: It depends. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm invalidating experimentation. An artist has to experiment with his era ft and it's part of his profession to understand and learn the various bits of technique involved in it. All I'm saying is that music as experimentation should be put in the research room, not in the concert hall. lf there's an audience of people there, even if they're only one, communication should occur. It always feels better when it does than when it doesn't. What's the sense of creating something if you can't share it with someone? I know some musicians. and I used to do this, who have composed a bunch of music and there it is in their archives- no one ever saw it! BUGLE: You're 33 years oíd and a Gemini. I don't know if you believe in astrology but I hear you believe in Scientology. COREA: I don't believe in anything. ( Laughter). 1 try to opérate off the simple basis of acknowledging what I know and acknowledging what I don't know. BUGLE:How do you find Scientology useful? COREA: Scientology is an applied phil osophy tliat's clearlyput and the main thing about it is, it's very workable. What it's intended to do is to come to a better understanding of oneself in relation to oneself, others, to his environment and to the world. The seientific method is employed. What is true for you is true for you. Truth is what you can sense and I experience. It's not operating off a belief. If there's some knowledge that you read that seems right but that you can't experience yet, you pursue it, understand it, apply it and test it to see if it works. II it does, it's yours and you know it. If it doesn't, you've found out that it doesn't. The idea is to increase a person's self-delemiinism and ability to know himself. BUGLE: How do you apply this to your music? COREA: I haven't applied it directly to my music; I've applied it to myself and organizationally to the group as a team. I've just learned a lot from studying the subject about the way I am, the way I relate to other people. I've learned the difference.'between a person's true intentionsand intentions that he has that are reactive in him, that aren't really him doing it. The basic trap of all existence is to hate somebody. If somebody's doing some horrible shit to you it's hard not to hate them. But if you. come to a bit of an understanding about what makes him tick. why he's that way and the fact that liis basic beingness isn't that way, that his sufferings from the past are so encasing him, he's not acting from his own selfdeterminism, then it's easier to love him. BUGLE: What do you cali your music? Is jazz an appropriate label? COREA: Cali it anything. It doesn't matter to me. I cali it "contemporary communication". I guess technically musicologists wouldhave to use a lot of different words to de'scribe it because there's no one word that has an apt definition that really takes in what we do. We draw from jazz, classical and rock music BUGLE: What do you look for when you choose instrumentalists for the group? COREA: I look for a good balance between professionalism and technical craftsmanship. That, plus being a person. Someone I can be friends with. 1 don't look for an angel who can't play and I also don't look for a genius on his instrucontinued on page 26 "This music was created out of the desire to communicate and share the dream of a better Mfe with people everywhere." Chick Corea continued from page 20 ment who's ;i shithead. (Laughter) I look for a balance: BUCLE: You're in favor of the artist becoming more in control of the financing end of the business. You've said that the more the artist knows about income tax and accounting the better he will be able to relate to people as an artist. Could you elabórate on this? COREA: Sure. Just generally, when you gct in a room and merely "créate music" without being aware of the world and how it's operating, your music will be out of present time because it won't be in relation to what's happening. The importance of a creation tome isn't the form of it. When I look at a sculpture, for example, and it's made of bronze, it's what the person has done to it the intention. Like, the idea of style is that cultures change just like languages change; there's always certain styles, forms and ways of living that are aceepted in the culture. Like if you attcmptcd to play clavier music for people, they wouldn't understand it. It's not the intention; it's the form. In the same way, life also consists of things like paying the rent, how nnich it costs to buy an instrument and how much a musirían should get paid for liis services based on reward and penalty systems that are gauged by the economics of the society. Well, the more an artist is in touch with the world around him, the easier it is for him to know what form to créate, to put his intention into. The artist can better speak for his time and be responsible for what happens to his creation after it leaves him. If you created something great, then put it into the hands of others who understand the world in a different way than you do, it will come out the other end something totally different. It just feels good to have your feet on the ground solidly-rooted and your head totally in the sky (laughter), spaced!