Interview with Ratko Zjaca: Improvisation is very complex topic: Video

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Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Ratko Zjaca. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions? 

Ratko Zjaca: – Improvisation is very complex topic. It’s also very personal approach if you going deep to work on and it’s reflection of how you hear, react, think and feel. I like to play in motivic way connecting motifs and make organic connection that make story .

It’s very important that you know where you want to go but it’s always surprise and it’s also depends how you connect with other people around you.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

RZ: – I like to learn song first that I don’t read from music paper than I don’t need to think about form , chord changes or melody.

I want to know composition and then I’m free and not thinking just listening and hear what music want from me.

Playing what you hear because you don’t have time to think than happened creativity.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

RZ: – I played a lot last period and working with my 2 groups playing original music and working many sideman projects with other musicians.

My priorities is of course ZZ Quartet group with incredible musicians and special individuals like fantastic accordion genius Simone Zanchini.

We played together for more than 10 years and always is challenge and unpredictable situations on stage because we have so creative and diverse approach to open for many territories and we make really musical theater. Just far out special group and complete original.

My new group Nocturnal Four it’s group with Hammond organ and great Renato Chicco and fantastic Stefano Bedetti is on saxophone.

I knew that I had three incredibly experienced musicians who were completely open to all forms of music. That was what I most appreciated from them, that they know how to listen and play what the music demands of them. Each of them has their own identity in sound and access to music. I had complete freedom to write because I work with such musicians.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

RZ: – I think is the most important way to work on your self and that mean take attention whats going on around yourself and world.

Everyday study on your music and Life will reflect how you growing up.

You need to have concept what work for you because problem is time and make right decisions .If you have vision how you want sound , what you want to said with your music and know with witch people you want to play will be right road for your coming project.

When you have right compositions and musicians around you audience will feel this and in my case you need to be first fair with yourself.It’s only one true how you feel and I’m very self critical person doesn’t matter if audiences say it’s great if I don’t feel this .Ideal is when from both sides chemistry happened.

I never like musicians who just want satisfying audience and build own reputation on how many likes you have on instagram or Facebook and behind is just instant and poor music and later even want to sell yourself like artist .

You need to be straight and fair.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

RZ: – Good song is good song.

It’s more important how you approach music and what do you want to say.

For me it’s some if I want play song from Nirvana or George Gershwin I like both and majority of my young student too but problem is not songs problem is that we need to learn that young people need to go to concerts and to experience life music that’s real thing and then you start feel music on different level. Majority of young people stay at home and just listen music on YouTube and if I said hey guys tomorrow is great saxophone player in town let’s go to concerts many of them told me no we saw on YouTube almost nobody have CD player at home and listen only music on Deezer or Spotify on usually computer speakers.

No ideas about what is sound reference and you don’t hear so many details on computer or iPhone with cheep speakers.

You go to expensive studio record your music doing later also expensive post production and than everybody listen on iPhone and you want to be musician?

You need to learn that music is also about sound . Great musician is sound scientist too.

JBN: – How important is it to you to have an original approach? Can you comment on the bridge between being a musician and being a composer?

RZ: – To me as a composer and instrumentalist it is the same as when I listen to music at home on good speakers . It’s essential for me to hear a musical story that has its authenticity, contrasts and originality.

On both territory you need to have own identity in sound and access to music. Like composer you need to catch idea and story what you will later produce in real time what we call playing and both side need to have perfect connection to produce musical work.

JBN: – What do you see for your extended future? You know what you have going on? You have life? If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

RZ: – It’s very unique time right now in our lives in this unpredictable world.

I’m just focus on music in my daily life writing music, practice instrument, read about art , psychology and philosophy.

Prepare my project for ZZ Quartet and Nocturnal Four and my solo guitar work.Very soon I will work on coming live album what I recorded few months ago and also some sidemen works.

I’m very happy very I am but only thing what will be great that soon as possible everybody have chance to have possibilities to travel and play live front of audience and not sit at home and isolate play online with friends .This is for me ideal situation how you promote your music.

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

RZ: – I have very open taste for listening music and last few months on my record player or CD player you can hear a lots of Stravinsky, Mahler, Elliot Carter, Zappa, Ali Akbar Khan, Messiaen, John McLaughlin, Bill Evans, Ellington, Mingus, Monk, John Zorn ….

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Artist "Ratko Zjaca" | HIGHRESAUDIO

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