One of the many highlights of writing about the wide variety of albums released on Real Music over the years was reviewing the music of California-based New Age electronic composer Chuck Wild. A keyboard icon from the heyday of early 1980s pop scene, and as an early member of the celebrated synth-rock band Missing Persons, Chuck Wild is perhaps most highly regarded for the 17 albums he has released under his musical moniker known as Liquid Mind. After releasing dozens of acclaimed CDs of New Age and meditation albums, Real Music changed owners a few years ago and is now leaning towards the current trend of digitization of music on the internet, having all but stopped releasing music on compact disc. Yet, lo and behold during the mid-Summer 2021, Chuck Wild did in fact release a CD of his music on the Real Music / myndstream imprint. True to form, the 2021 CD release of Musical Healthcare compiles 70+ minutes of album tracks taken from 6 different Liquid Mind albums Chuck released over the years on the original Real Music label, topped off by a new 12-minute track entitled “Healing Hands”.
Featuring a range of New Age electronic instrumental sounds, Musical Healthcare is very much in keeping with Chuck’s original Liquid Mind output. In the CD booklet for Musical Healthcare you can see 12 different Liquid Mind album covers that chronicle the various CDs. With its blood pressure lowering atmospherics, and attention to therapeutic meditation music, Musical Healthcare makes a fitting best-of collection of Chuck Wild’s Real Music releases. Chuck’s liner notes dated July 9, 2021, featured in the CD packaging, gives a brief but informative insight into the style of music Liquid Mind released between 2004 and 2017 and there’s also some additional liner notes by Terence Yallop, the founding force behind the original Real Music label. Speaking about the Musical Healthcare compilation album, Chuck says, “My gratitude to co-producer Jon Marozik, singers A.j. Teshin, Seven Whitfield & Jimmy Demers and Glen Wexler for the beautiful album art. "Musical Healthcare" is dedicated to the memory of my late mentor and dear friend, Bruce Swedien. It's hard to believe I began this journey 33 years ago to heal my own anxiety, and I'm grateful to be able to continue producing this music at age 74. Thanks so much for your support of Liquid Mind! Special thanks to Real Music/Myndstream my longtime label for their support.” Composed, performed, produced, recorded and mixed by Chuck Wild, with additional assistance by Jonathan Marozik, Musical Healthcare is a most reflective musical experience from one of America’s most original New Age composers. LiquidMindMusic.com
mwe3.com presents a new interview with
mwe3: Hi Chuck, I hope you're doing well. How has living through the pandemic affected you and your music?
Chuck Wild: Hi Robert, I hope you're doing well, wishing you the best always! Yes, the pandemic has presented certain challenges, but my approach has always been to continue my "life" the same as pre-pandemic, as much as is safely possible. Fortunately, living in SoCal allows us to eat outside at restaurants and do some shopping in open air. Using N95 masks now widely available helps for shopping trips inside. I call it a 'new normal', letting go of things I have no control over, and focusing on things I can control.
To be able to continue music, I set up a vocal booth & remote studio in the garage, so co-producer Jonathan Marozik and the singers I work with could continue to work as usual, but with some work "outside".
mwe3: Although there was a pandemic, it’s great that in 2020 you were able to release a new album Liquid Mind XIII: Mindfulness, and in 2021 you were able to release a new collection, Liquid Mind: Musical Healthcare®. What events were involved in the release of Musical Healthcare and how did you work with the Real Music / Myndstream label to put the Musical Healthcare album together? With the trend towards streaming, I'm so glad you're still releasing CD's! Are you finding that listeners are as accepting of downloads and online music as they are with CD?
Though streaming is 99% of the distribution now, Amazon still carries CDs & MP3's, so we still manufactured them for both albums, and Apple Music still carries MP3 downloads. I will continue to make CDs as I've personally sent comp CDs to thousands of healthcare workers, veterinarians, doctors, police and fire, as well as veterans groups and their families in the past several years. It's a way to say thank you to those folks who are of service in our communities and to our country. People seem to like streaming, it's very convenient to just say "Alexa play Liquid Mind" or whatever music they want, but many folks still like having the physical CD.
mwe3: How many albums have you released as Liquid Mind on Real Music? I think you said 17? What was the first album you released as Liquid Mind and year was that? What parameters did you use to select the tracks on the Musical Healthcare album? I know not all the Liquid Mind albums were chosen for tracks as you said only six Liquid Mind albums are featured on the Musical Healthcare album so are you going to do another compilation CD choosing from the albums that you didn’t choose from on the new album? Who else was involved with putting Musical Healthcare together? I saw you listed Jonathan Marozik in the booklet. Tell us about working with Jonathan.
Chuck Wild: Yes, there are 17 albums in the Liquid Mind series, 13 studio albums with all new material and 4 compilation albums. The very first album is called Ambience Minimus and was released on my own label Chuck Wild Records in 1994. I released six albums on my own, and in 2004 I signed with Real Music, founded by Terence Yallop and run by Terence and his wife Karen Kael. They had been meditating daily to my music for 10 years and we'd become friends. As the series grew, the administrative burden on me became more time-consuming, and I was happy to let Real Music take over at that time. Regarding Musical Healthcare, I think it may be the last of the compilations. There were three previously: Relax: A Liquid Mind Experience in 2007, Dream: A Liquid Mind Mind Experience in 2011, and Liquid Mind Relaxing Rain and Ocean Mixes in 2014.
Jonathan Marozik has been my able assistant for five years, and starting with Liquid Mind XII: Peace he started helping out with the programming. In 2019, he became co-producer of Liquid Mind XIII: Mindfulness and also co-production on Healing Hands, the new 12 minutes piece. Jonathan is great to work with, very detail oriented which is important with Liquid Mind. In the past, I've always liked to have one new piece on a compilation. These days, compilations and albums are more akin to "playlists" on the DSP's, though as mentioned, I still like CDs myself and will continue to use them.
mwe3: Why did you call your new music compilation Musical Healthcare? It must have something to do with the therapeutic nature of your music, which has been that way for quite a while now. Are you still discovering things about the connection between New Age and meditation music and its beneficial effect on the human condition? What are the main web sites where people can go to find out more about your music being therapeutic? I know you have a number of web sites as well.
Chuck Wild: I've been using the term Musical Healthcare® for many years on my site, feeling it describes the intentionality of my music, and also because there is solid research that music can be beneficial to folks' health. I believe all music, not just quiet slow music, has value as therapeutic music. Some research has confirmed that heavy metal, classical music, slow music and jazz are all relaxing to fans of those styles of music. I am still discovering things about Liquid Mind, based upon feedback from people who listen, especially healthcare practitioners. Here's a link to a PDF Resource Guide that shows all the reported uses and effects of my music.
My main website is LiquidMindMusic.com and there is lots of information there regarding its use and my history on music therapy, my own healing from anxiety and panic disorder, some well-researched sleep tips, and simple meditation instructions.
mwe3: I noticed that you dedicated Musical Healthcare to Bruce Swedien. I am Facebook friends with his daughter Roberta. Tell us about how and when you met Bruce and how he impacted you and your music. Did Bruce work with you during the Missing Persons era and also on your New Age works with Liquid Mind as well? Can you mention a couple of your favorite techniques of Bruce’s as it involved recording music in the studio?
mwe3: Tell us about the new track you recorded especially for Musical Healthcare. “Healing Hands” is also the longest track on the album. Tell us about working with Jonathan Marozik on that track. Also I was interested in how the album mastering was worked out as you feature different tracks from different albums on the compilation. Did you have to tweak the sound to get the different tracks and different albums to sound the same dynamics and volume? Also I saw you worked with Bernie Grundman mastering… he’s a legend too.
Chuck Wild: After I compose sketches for any new piece, Jonathan will typically begin programming one of the many pads. We take care not to have any "sharp edges" so to speak in the music, so he will be adjusting attacks and releases; then, we start adding layers and mixing using Digital Performer®. Though Bernie Grundman, and also Ken Lee in Oakland, have mastered many of my albums, Joe Bozzi at Grundman Mastering mastered the last two albums. I do pre-mastering in my studio to match things up for EQ and volume as best I can, then Joe adds in his magic to keep the album sounding smooth and even.
mwe3: What do you think of the 21st century New Age music scene these days? Seems like there are a vast variety of artists recordig instrumental meditation music these days. You told me some years back that you mainly listen to classical music, so what New Age or even rock / pop bands and artists also inspire you these days?
Chuck Wild: You're right, Robert, there are a lot of indie artists in the meditation space, and I think that bodes well for society having a higher consciousness about using music for mental health, for yoga, exercise and many other activities. I do still mainly listen to ancient classical music. There is really a lot of amazing music being released these days, but since music is my "day job", I don't really listen much in my off-time, I prefer silence, which helps me keep perspective on my own production. That said, I've always loved the music of the group 2002, Pam, Randy and Sarah Copus, there's an ethereal quality that I've always connected to. Jacob Collier's creativity is mind-expanding.
mwe3: Tell us your upcoming plans for the second half of 2021. Being that you included the recent “Healing Hands” track on Musical Healthcare will you be going in that kind of direction on the way to recording new music? What are you looking forward to in 2022?
Chuck Wild: I'm currently sketching a new Liquid Mind album for release perhaps in the fall or winter of 2022. Liquid Mind takes a long time to write, arrange and mix, and I love getting perspective, so I sometimes let my works in progress sit for weeks at a time before I judge their quality. I will often sketch 40 pieces just to select what I think are the best 5 or 6 pieces to actually produce.
Thanks again for the questions and opportunity to share, Robert. If folks want more information they can go to LiquidMindMusic.com or to listen, they can hear Liquid Mind on Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and several dozen other streaming sites.