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Chick Corea

By Published: October 30, 2004
CC: No! "Check Blast" is very specific in the book. There's this theory that if the ship reaches the speed of light it could freeze, so they want to keep it below 186,000 miles per second. They have this speedometer and if the ship is moving too close to light speed the crew, whoever's awake on the bridge, has to alert the engineer, yelling out "check blast 1000" or "check blast 500". There's a point in the music where the keyboards go "bing, bing, bing." That's the check blast warning.

AAJ: So this could be the soundtrack to the movie one day?

CC: No! Soundtracks are very different from this kind of music. Soundtracks are to serve the needs of the film. This music is a tone poem. It sits all by itself. It's to be listened to all by itself. It could, for the listener, expand what he feels and understands in the story.

AAJ: Would you be interested in scoring a movie version of "To the Stars?"

CC: Yes, I would. I'd give that a good try.

AAJ: You live in Florida?

CC: Yes, in Clearwater.

AAJ: Sam Rivers lives in Florida. Have you two ever worked together?

CC: I haven't seen him for quite a while. He's an amazing man. We hooked up about five years ago and did some things together. He had a trio and I had a band and we jammed together.

AAJ: The Lincoln Center concert was the second stop on the tour. Now what?

CC: We're moving on to Atlanta to play at the largest Science Fiction conference in the world, called DragonCon.

AAJ: I've been to that!

CC: Really! Was it wild? Did you dress up?

AAJ: It was pretty wild. No, I didn't dress up. I notice you switch back and forth from acoustic to electric keyboards. This gives you a wide range of sounds.

CC: My basic axe is the piano, but for the Elektric band the sounds are surrounding the fender rhodes and clavinet sounds and the sounds I developed in the 80s to create different moods. If I had to eliminate anything due to space or economy I'd have to get rid of the piano.

AAJ: I know nothing about Scientology.

CC: Hubbard was a great artist himself. One way to learn about Scientology is to know who Ron Hubbard was. He was a great man.

AAJ: Did you know him personally?

CC: We exchanged some really nice letters. I used to write to him and thank him for his work. Later on I sent him a couple records and he wrote back and was very encouraging. He was an amazing man and had an amazing life. His life was an adventure. His biography is being compiled and Im dying to see it, but I know bits and pieces about it. He talked a little about his life in his lectures, and he was wise enough to, as he developed Dianetics and Scientology, to tape his lectures so those who want hear him speak about them directly can do so. The aims of Scientology is a world without war, without insanity, where honest people can be safe to work. Scientology is in back of all the basic human rights that we have. But the brilliant thing is that Hubbard came up with techniques and ways that people could study and produce good human results on themselves, their families and friends, and some of these techniques are now being used in amazing public programs. We have a program called "Narc-Anon" that's been in action for 20-30 years. It's the very best drug program ever. It doesn't use any drugs. What it does beyond helping the person off drugs is it gets back to why he got on them in the first place. It rehabilitates his sense of self-respect so he can attack life the way he wants to. We have a program called "Crim-Anon" where people who've been put in prison, who are pushed out of society, can rehabilitate themselves and their self-respect. These programs are incredibly effective, so much so that finally governments are starting to take note and support some of them. That's just some of the outreach of the subject, which is about personal freedom and awareness. Hubbard felt that artists were incredibly important to the health of our culture, and actually a way that you can measure the health of a culture is how active it is in the arts. The reverse of that is that any culture that we've seen that goes downhill immediately starts to put down art. So the opposite of that is what we look for.

AAJ: So, music reflects the state of the culture as a whole?

CC: Not so much the type of music because in a free society there needs to be all types of music. The real monitor is how much music is there, how many people are artists, how many concerts are there, how many young people can go into art. That really is a gauge of how healthy a society is.

AAJ: Do you try to put these ideas into practice musically? Is it important to you that your sidemen have these values?

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