New Age Music Guide presents an interview with Chuck Wild, the man behind Liquid Mind. Chuck talks about his new album “Liquid Mind XIII – Mindfulness” and the healing qualities of music.
BT Fasmer: Many readers have told us about how music has helped them in this time of crisis – and a high number of them have mentioned your music especially. Has the Covid19 epidemy had an impact on your view on music and its therapeutic qualities?
Chuck Wild: I think all music can be healing to someone. Some folks go to bed listening to heavy metal, others to classical music, others to sedative music like Liquid Mind. So the pandemic hasn’t altered my views on the therapeutic value of music, and has been a good reminder of the importance and value of music therapy, which has actually been used for centuries. The American Music Therapy Association has been at the forefront of this important work for many years, and I’ve learned a great deal working with some music therapists.
BT: Tell us about “Liquid Mind XIII – Mindfulness”. I guess the album was finished well before Covid19?
Chuck: Yes, I began writing this album in late 2018 and with the help of Jonathan Marozik, my co-producer, finished most of the production in late 2019. We were mixing the album in January 2020, and the release date was always set for the spring of 2020.
Regarding mindfulness, it’s sometimes defined as observing our feelings/thoughts in the present moment without judgment, which I think is just a form of awareness. There are many paths to mindfulness including meditation, listening to music, going for a walk, taking a bath or shower, the list is endless really, and unique to each person. Whatever allows me to clear my mind and have a finer perspective can help me see beyond the ‘noise’ of what’s going on around me. Especially in our age of “information overload”, I think mindfulness is an important skill to develop.
My most-used meditation is simply sitting quietly and counting my breaths from one to ten, then repeating. Many years ago I suffered from intractable panic attacks. Meditation, counseling and Liquid Mind were the cornerstones of my healing.
BT: You say in the CD booklet that you have had benefit from mindfulness. Is this experience the reason why you decided to do the album?
Chuck: Yes… the benefit of quieting my mind has brought me sharper perspective, better life decisions, being more in tune with my life’s values of good health, loving relationships, meaningful work, and prosperity. The titles of the sixteen Liquid Mind albums are an outline of my own path to healing starting in 1988… All the music is meditational, therapeutic and in a similar sedative style.
I’ve benefitted over the years from meditation, counseling, and also the use of my music to help slow down & quiet my mind when life’s inevitable challenges arise.
I think during the current pandemic there is a lot of fear of the future, and to the degree I can look at that rationally, adapt to the facts, and then make any necessary changes, my life will be better. So quiet meditation, with or without music, counseling, a strong support system, asking the right questions of folks, trying to be more rational, all this is for me the benefit of a posture of mindfulness.
BT: How do you recommend listening to “Mindfulness“? The song “Mindfulness” is the last piece on the album, after songs about love, kindness and “Life in the Slow Lane”. I guess this is an album where you can start wherever, and still get “the Liquid Mind experience”?
Chuck: The song titles represent things I value in my life, all of which, for me, are part of living a mindful life. I have no listening recommendations except do not listen to Liquid Mind while driving. The music makes a lot of people drowsy, so listening while operating machinery is not advisable.
There is no one piece or starting point in particular, the six tracks are hopefully a musical confluence, different but intersecting, as the music is similar throughout this album, quiet, slow. Some folks walk & listen, others during work or creative activities. Many have reported that listening 15-30 minutes before sleep helps them wind down quickly.
Liquid Mind is designed, arranged, mixed and mastered to be listened to very quietly. I’ve heard from many hundreds of listeners over the past 30 years, and everyone seems to have a different way of using my music. I’m always surprised when folks tell me their pets calm down when they put the music on.
BT: You usually release a Liquid Mind album every second year. Can we expect a new album in 2022? Or is it too soon to tell?
Chuck: It’s a bit early to predict when the next album will come out at the moment. It may be a collection or another “studio” album, I’m not sure. Sorry I can’t be more specific.
BT: You have had a diverse career and have composed music for some of the biggest names in the music business (the Pointer Sisters, Tommy Page, Wink and many more). Have you worked on any other projects recently?
Chuck: Actually, I haven’t been active in music production (other than Liquid Mind) for 7 years, just no time given my non-music business commitments, and my foray into classical piano.
BT: The economy in music streaming has improved much over the last few years. In your opinion, are we back where we were during the heyday of the CD format? Or has music streaming still a way to go before it is a sustainable model?
Chuck: The digital revolution has leveled the playing field for independent artists, which is good; but in another sense, because airplay depends upon playlists, promotion is not traditional. I can’t really compare the earning ability from CDs to streaming, it’s really apples and oranges, but because digital deals are more favorable to artists than CD deals (where there is manufacturing cost that must be recouped), I’d assume most artists earn more. Streaming is sustainable imo.
BT: Chuck, thank you so much for the interview!
Chuck: Thanks for your questions, BT. I started the Liquid Mind® series in January of 1988 during a time of personal crisis, to help myself heal from anxiety and panic disorder. Music has been an important part of my own healing, a tool in my life toolbox, and I hope it will help others.
For more information and music samples, visit liquidmindmusic.com
Above picture by Michael Whitfield. License: CC BY-SA 4.0