June 17, 2024

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Interview with Lucas Pino: Never the two shall meet; Never will they depart: Video

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist and composer Lucas Pino. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Lucas Pino: – I was born and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. I began playing in band class at age 10, and by age 11 I was certain that I wanted to become a professional musician. My father had a large jazz collection, and gave those records to me. I was very fortunate to have many mentors and teachers in Phoenix, and can remember playing professionally before I could drive myself to the gig. I was around 15 years old.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

LP: – I believe one’s “sound” is an amalgamation of all their experiences, musical and beyond. Getting that sound to come out of the artist is the true barrier to expression. You can’t change who you are, but most of the time the hinderance is technical and maybe spiritual. We must master our instruments, physical and spiritual, to allow the sound to come out. My sound, your sound, anyone’s sound is already inside and constantly changing and growing. It is indelibly tied to what we listen to, but also how we treat ourselves and others. I try to be disciplined in my practice to allow that to come out.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

LP: – I think practicing with a metronome is crucial. Most of our practice really comes down to perception. Where do I perceive the time? The metronome, along with a recording device can provide a little more objectivity to the process. Play with the metronome on 1 and 3, 2 and 4, just one beat per measure, perhaps only beat 1, 2, 3 or 4. Try 1 beat per 2 measure or even 1 beat per 4 measures. I have practiced time with drummers, only one of us being allowed to listen to the metronome with headphones at a time. Try playing “on top” or ahead of the beat, or “laying back” behind. Can you play exactly in the center of the beat? Record yourself, and slow it down. How do you line of with the beat? Am I using the metronome as a crutch, or as a device to show some objectivity, and begin to train my perception?

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

LP: – Early in my study, I was very concerned with understanding consonance, and what the “right notes” are. Chord-Scale theory provided me with a pretty thorough understanding, or satisfying palate of notes to choose from, when improvising. However, playing every note in every applicable scale pretty quickly sounds bland and homogenous. Just knowing the notes is only the most basic necessity, if it truly even be that. However, it does go a long way toward constructing melodies, and hopefully interesting spontaneous variations. But ultimately, I think it’s more important to find the negative space, or the absence of notes, to constructing something memorable, singable, and worthwhile.

JBN.S: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

LP: – I’m not too concerned about distasteful outside influences. If something is supposed to be in there, it will be and consequently if something isn’t supposed to be in there…

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul? 

LP: – Never the two shall meet; Never will they depart.

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

LP: – The people and I want the same thing. If we, the musicians, do our job, I believe we’ll all leave a concert uplifted and satisfied. I covet the ears of my audiences, and will strive to never forget their transformative power.

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

LP: – I believe musical literacy is at a relative low in our culture now. For example, it can be difficult to be interested in a sport if you don’t know the rules. If we teach musical literacy, and value it as a society, the number of people who understand and value jazz will grow. I also believe that we performers must do a better job at entertaining, whatever that means to each performer. How we speak to the audience, or how we light a show etc. We should always look toward our greatest examples: Duke, Pops, Diz… these were some of the worlds greatest entertainers as well as the pioneers of this incredible art form.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

LP: – I do not understand much, but I enjoy searching! I’m practicing how to say, “I don’t know”.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

LP: – I’d like to see musicians of all types get paid fairly. With the change brought by the internet and the digital revolution, it has been difficult to reestablish the true value of music (all levels) in our lives. Art is kind of like a pyramid, we need all levels below the point for the top to exist. Right now, those lower levels are struggling to exist because it can be impossible financially.

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

LP: – Louis Cole, Anderson Pakk, PJ Morton.

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

LP: – I want to see the future. I don’t want to stay long. I just want to see where we’re headed. Anyone can visit the past, safely… read a book.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Lucas Pino

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