INTERVIEW/INTERVJU: Richard Bona – a synonym for the bass instrument/sinonim za bas instrument!
12. veljače 2019.
Helena Ernoić (36 Članci)
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INTERVIEW/INTERVJU: Richard Bona – a synonym for the bass instrument/sinonim za bas instrument!

ENG

Richard Bona: “A secret behind playing bass and singing at the same time is the practice and repetition. If somebody tells you otherwise – they are lying”

Richard Bona, who became the synonym for the bass instrument, is coming to Croatian Culture factory. Great chance to speak with the living legend, musician, singer-songwriter from Cameroon, 9 years after his last performance in Zagreb.

What can we expect from your concert? Will you be performing only songs from Heritage album or we will have opportunity to go on a journey thru your career?

„The audience is going to hear some great music and have lots of fun. Prepare to hear good music, and good musicians playing together to honor the music. We never decide on playlist that far ahead, and also, even when we do decide, it changes on the spot. But, if you are coming for the music you certainly will not be disappointed.  I expect the audience to share in the experience of listening to music while having fun.“

Apart from your upcoming Zagreb concert, what’s going on in your musical world these days?

“I am always on a mission of finding new musical expressions in different world cultures. I have been concentrated on Latin America with my Heritage album that is influenced by Afro-Cuban music. Now, I am working on a new Flamenco Project. I love working with Gypsies, they play with such intensity it is beautiful.“

It’s been 9 years since your last visit to Zagreb and I hope you have nice memories. Will you have time to take a tour around city?

“Unfortunately, I think I am staying just one day, then continuing to Belgrade. But I have such amazing memories from last time I was there. I remember the food was amazing, and the people very warm, which is more similar to my homeland, than to the western culture. I hope to take the same experience with me this time.”

Do you consider yourself a singer or a bass player? For e.g. Jimi Hendrix used to say that he is singer.

“I consider myself a musician. Bass is not the only instrument I play, although it is the main one so to say. But, I am a musician, an author and forever a student of music.”

Victor Wooten once said that one of the happiest moment in his career was when they called him to play bass in a band. Nothing to show off, just to give groove. So when was the last time you were bass player, not solo artist? What do you like more?

“I play in different projects all the time. But even though it is my band and music I am playing, I am still not a solo artist. For me, playing together is true art”.

I must ask, how do you manage to sing and play all those lines? Tell me your secret.

“Practice and repetition. If somebody tells you otherwise, they are lying.”

Why do you love Cuban music?

“It is amazingly rhythmical and it takes me back to my roots. There is so much of African influence in it, and that is why it is often referred to as Afro-Cuban. I explored the beats and melodies of Cuba and Latin America on my album “Heritage” but on other projects, also.”

Tell me something about your role models.

“Well there are so many, but to be honest my biggest role model is still my grandfather, and the second place goes to Jaco Pastorious.“

Many refer to you as a jazz musician, but I would say it’s only a part of your music career, since you embraced a lot of different stiles. How do you look on that diversity?

„I just create music from where my heart and mind guide me to. I don’t like to classify myself as just one type of musician. If there is music, I want to be playing it!“

Photo credit by Yassine Toumi

Thanks to technology, exchange of culture is much more available and faster, but it also brings new fusion sound. Do you think we lost or gained something from that blend? Is it possible today to detect real traditional form of music?

“I think there was never really a pure traditional form of music, not influenced by another. I think the influences are quite astonishing, when you start to explore traditional music of different countries. There are even same melodies in different traditions, which means music was always a form of communication and sharing, a two way street. Of course, today it is more obvious and easier to see it, but I thing influence is always good.”

You’ve been to this years NAMM show. Did you find anything interesting that you would like to have in your set-up?

“How much time and space do you have for this interview? :D”

Tell me the story behind your signature bass models Kilimanjaro and Kimandu. How did the developing process looked like?

“Since I was a child, I loved making my own instruments. When I was really small I came down with malaria, and my family discovered that only the sound of the balafon could soothe me. When I recovered, my grandfather, the village griot, showed me how to build my own instrument. I was ecstatic! That is how I felt making my signature basses. It was an honor really, to be a great part of creating those beasts.”

There is a large (for our standards) bass community in Croatia and I asked them is there any question they would like to ask you. So here are couple of them… (thank you in the name of  FB group Low-e). Is it true that you bumped on Miles somewhere in the backstage of jazz festival and when Miles asked you “are you THE Bona”, you said you’re not?

“I don’t remember, but could be, it sounds like something I might do.”

What did you learned from Pat Metheny period and what from Zawinul Joe?

“From Pat Metheny period I learned the beauty of simplicity and just enjoying without complicating, and from Zawinul Joe just the opposite. But from both experiences, I learned what togetherness in a band really means and how hard it is to find it. Those people had it! “

Do you have some “tips&tricks” how to practice?

“People always ask me for some new tips and techniques, but the best tip always is repetition. Our motoric system just needs time. Sometimes is more, sometimes is less, but repetitions until success.”

What do you love about bass as instrument?

“The power it has. It can be an instrument that gives the beat from the shadow, but it also can be very up your face. Sometimes people even don’t know it is there, but if it weren’t, it would all sound like shit.”

At the end let’s just say that Richard Bona’s concert in Culture factory is on the 9th of March and the ticket price is 125 kunas. Get yourself a ticket HERE.

Photo credit by Jarasum Jazz Festival

HR

Richard Bona: “Tajna sviranja basa i pjevanja u isto vrijeme je u vježbanju i ponavljanju. Ako netko tvrdi suprotno – laže!”

Richard Bona, koji je postao sinonim za bas instrument, dolazi u hrvatsku Tvornicu culture. Savršena prilika da porazgovaramo sa živućom legendom, glazbenikom, kantautorom iz Kameruna, devet godina nakon njegovog zadnjeg koncerta u Zagrebu.

Što možemo očekivati od koncerta? Hoćete li izvoditi samo pjesme s albuma “Heritage” ili ćemo imati prilike otići na putovanje kroz cijelu Vašu karijeru?

“Publika će moći čuti zaista dobru glazbu i zabaviti se. Pripremite se čuti dobru glazbu i dobre glazbenike koji sviraju zajedno u čast glazbi. Nikad nemamo pripremljenu set listu unaprijed, a i kada odlučimo to napraviti mijenjamo je u hodu. Ali ako dolazite zbog glazbe sigurno nećete biti razočarani. Očekujem da će publika podijeliti iskustvo slušanja glazbe dok se zabavlja“

Osim Vašeg dolaska u Zagreb, što se događa u Vašem glazbenom svijetu ovih dana?

„Uvijek sam na misiji pronalaska novih glazbenih izričaja u različitim svjetskim kulturama. Bio sam skoncentriran na Latinsku Ameriku s mojim albumom „Heritage“, a koji ima utjeaja u afro-kubanskoj glazbi. Sada radim na novom flamenco projektu. Volim raditi s ciganskim glazbenicima koji sviraju s dosta intenziteta – prelijepo je“

Prošlo je 9 godina od Vašeg zadnjeg posjeta Zagrebu i nadam se da nosite lijepe uspomene. Hoćete li imati vremena proći gradom?

„Nažalost, mislim da ostajem samo jedan dan pa odmah putujem za Beograd. Ali imam dosta divnih uspomena sa zadnjeg dolaska ovdje. Sjećam se da je hrana izvanredna i ljudi su dosta topli, što je slično kao u mojoj domovini, ali i na zapadu. Nadam se da ću i sada sa sobom ponijeti ista iskustva.“

Smatrate li se pjevačem ili basistom? Za primjer, Jimi Hendrix je znao govoriti za sebe da je pjevač.

„Smatram sebe glazbenikom. Bas nije jedini instrument koji sviram, iako je glavni instrument, da tako kažem. Ali sam glazbenik, autor i zauvijek glazbeni student.“

Victor Wooten je jednom rekao da mu je jedan od najsretnijih trenutaka u karijeri bio kad su ga pozvali da svira bas u bendu. Nije potrebno pokazati umijeće, samo dati groove. Dakle, kad je zadnji put da ste bili basist, a ne solo umjetnik? Što više volite?

„Sviram stalno u različitim projektima. Ali bez obzira što je ovo moj bend i moja glazba koju sviram, i dalje nisam solo umjetnik. Za mene je zajedničko sviranje prava umjetnost.“

Moram pitati kako uspijete pjevati i svirati sve te bas dionice u isto vrijeme? Recite mi svoju tajnu?

„Vježbanje i ponavljanje. Ako netko tvrdi suprotno – laže“

Zbog čega volite kubansku glazbu?

„Nevjerojatno je ritmična i vraća me mojim korijenima. Ima puno afričkog utjecaja u njoj i zato se često za nju koristi termin afro-kubanska. Istraživao sam ritmove i melodije Kube i Latinske Amerike na mojem novom albumu „Heritage“, ali i za potrebe drugih projekata.“

Recite mi nešto o svojim uzorima.

„Ima ih zaista puno, ali da budem iskren moj najveći uzor je i dalje moj djed, a drugo mjesto pripada Jacou Pastoriousu.“

Mnogi vas smatraju jazz glazbenikom, ali ako mogu reći to je samo jedan dio Vaše glazbene karijere, s obzirom da ste do sada prezentirali različite glazbene stilove. Kako Vi gledate na tu raznovrsnost?

„Samo stvaram glazbu prema navođenju mojeg srca i uma. Ne želim se klasificirati kao glazbenik  samo jednog tipa glazbe. Ako je tamo glazba, želim ju svirati!“

Foto: Yassine Toumi

Zahvaljujući tehnologiji, razmjena kultura je mnogo pristupačnija i brža, ali ujedno donosi i nove mješavine zvuka. Mislite li da smo izgubili ili stvorili nešto iz tog stapanja? Je li moguće danas detektirati stvarni tradicionalni oblik glazbe?

„Mislim da nikada nije bilo stvarnog i čistog tradicionalnog oblika glazbe, čak ni one na koju je netko utjecao. Mislim da su utjecaji dosta začuđujući kad krenete istraživati tradicionalnu glazbu različitih država. Postoje čak i iste melodije u različitim tradicijama, što znači da je uvijek postojao način komunikacije i dijeljenja, dvije strane ulice. Naravno, danas je to sve očitije i lakše je takvo što primijetiti, ali mislim da je utjecaj uvijek dobra stvar.“

Bili ste na ovogodišnjem NAMM događaju. Jeste li pronašli nešto zanimljivo, a što biste htjeli imati kao dio svojeg set-up-a?

„Koliko vremena i prostora imate u ovom intervjuu? :D“

Ispričajte mi priču koja stoji iza bas modela Kilimanjaro i Kimandu s Vašim potpisom? Kako je izgledao proces razvoja ovih proizvoda?

„Još dok sam bio dijete volio sam raditi vlastite instrumente. Kad sam bio skroz mali dobio sam malariju i moja obitelj je otkrila da me jedino može umiriti zvuk balafona. Kad sam se oporavio moj djed, seoski griot, pokazao mi je kako izraditi vlastiti instrument. Bio sam presretan. Tako sam se osjećao i kad sam izrađivao basove s mojim potpisom. Bila mi je doista čast biti dobar dio stvaranja ovih zvjeri.“

Postoji veliko (za naše standarde) udruženje basista u Hrvatskoj i pitala sam ih imaju li neka pitanja za Vas. Ima ih nekoliko (hvala Vam u ime FB grupe Low-e). Je li istina da ste negdje u backstageu na nekom jazz festivalu naletjeli na Milesa kojem ste na pitanje „jesi li ti THE Bona“ odgovorili s – „nisam“?

„Ne sjećam se, ali moguće je, zvuči kao da bih mogao takvo što reći.“

Što ste naučili od razdoblja Pata Mathenyja, a što od razdoblja Zawinula Joea?

„Od razdoblja Pata Methenyja naučio sam ljepotu jednostavnosti i uživati bez kompliciranja, dok sam od Zawinula Joea naučio upravo suprotno. Ali od oba iskustva sam naučio što zajedništvo u bendu doista znači i koliko je teško pronaći ga. Ti ljudi su imali to zajedništvo!“

 Imate li neke savjete i trikove za podijeliti, kako vježbati sviranje basa?

„Ljudi me uvijek pitaju za neke savjete i tehnike sviranja, ali najbolji savjet je uvijek ponavljanje. Naš motorički sistem zahtijeva vrijeme. Nekada dulje, nekada manje, ali ponavljanje do uspjeha.“

Što volite najviše kod basa kao instrumenta?

„Moć koju ima. Može biti instrument koji daje ritam iz sjene, a može isto tako biti i ispred svih. Nekada ljudi uopće ne znaju da je tu, ali da ga nema sve bi zvučalo kao sranje.“

Na kraju ćemo samo reći da je koncert Richarda Bone u Tvornici kulture 9. ožujka i cijena ulaznice je 125 kuna. Kupiti ih možete OVDJE.

Foto: Jarasum Jazz Festival