Chicago based musician John Love releases his entity of a song titled “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)”. While noting that the entirety of the song had to be uploaded in three movements, it gives us a peek into the creative depths that run deep in John Love’s mind. After quitting piano as the known “unprepared student”, John Love took it onto himself to be self-taught and learn by ear. We can really hear how deep his creative process runs with “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)”. Taking us on a textured piano instrumental ride, we’re left putting placid imagery in our own minds. Peacefully opening with “Mvmt. I (Colossale Con Moto)”, John Love brings versatility and a very dynamic intro. Starting with serene melodies that uplift our emotions, then swiftly moving into an exciting rhythm and quick-moving chords. As we move into “Mvmt. II (Valzer Adagio)”, John Love takes the energy back down to cinematic and calming melodies. The switch between major and minor gives off a haunting yet warm atmosphere. As he emphasizes certain notes to stand out, we can sense a storyline within. Ending off with the outro piece “Mvmt. III (Andantino Con Amore)”, John Love provides a beautiful crescendo into a stunning range from high notes to low notes. Ending off the project with power and poise, John Love has brought a soulful experience with the entity that is “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)”. You can listen to “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)” here.
Hey John Love, welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re captivated by your brilliant piano work within your entity “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)”. Was there any storyline or concept that you wanted to portray with this song?
Thank you! Well this piece was written towards the beginning of all this crazy COVID-19/quarantine mess. That's how the name of it came to be. My roommate/bandmate, Sam Roth, and I "cleverly" came up with a combination of the two (coronavirus & quarantine) to get "Corontina". So with the three movements of the piece, I wanted to express a narrative of three different stages in my personal COVID-19 experience. With the first movement, "Colossale con Moto", it is supposed to represent the ominous, rapid-pace at which this all started. The immensity of it all. Like millions of other people, it seemed like I was at work on Thursday, and then on Friday I was getting an email saying my work was closed for the "foreseeable future." The second movement, "Valzer Adagio," was my attempt at portraying the relatively tedious, redundant, and simple lifestyle of not leaving my apartment. Wake up, eat, walk in circles, eat, more circles, eat, sleep, repeat. I do want to recognize however, that I am unbelievably and incredibly blessed in my experience with this scary time in history. I am lucky enough to say that I don't really know anyone in my immediate circle of family/friends who have been fatally affected by COVID-19 and I know there are so many others who haven't been so lucky and my heart truly does go out to those dealing with worse circumstances. Which is why the third movement, "Andantino con Amore," was meant to serve as a sort of sound of hope for everyone. I wanted to paint a picture of love and assurance to everyone and remind people that things will get better. Sure it will take time, and it will always be in the back of our minds (represented by the reprise of the first movement in the last 40 seconds), but if we all stick together and follow the necessary steps to better our situation, we will get through this. Besides this literal interpretation, I really just wanted to write a piece of music that would be relaxing for people to hear. Something they can close their eyes to and imagine their own story. Escape for 11 minutes of their day.
Speaking on “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)” and how John Love had to break it up into three movements, it’s clear that your creativity can run forever. Could you highlight your creative process and how you blended this array of sounds together cohesively?
I am not a classically trained pianist and I don't know how to read music, so a lot of my creative process, honestly, is trial and error! The word "fantasia" is defined as "a musical composition with a free form and often improvisatory style." And that's basically my creative process! I had fiddled with some of these motifs previously so it was a matter of improvising around with them, expanding in greater detail, until I heard something that I liked that would continue the progression.
In regards to “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)”, because the song is split into three movements, are there any moments that are John Love’s personal favorite to play and perform within “The Corontina Fantasia (Mvmt. I, II & III)”?
Out of the three, the second movement is my favorite! It makes the most sense to me. I tend to write and play a lot in 3/4 time, so it is more comfortable and familiar. The last 60 seconds is my favorite to play! I had a wonderful friend and mentor who I gigged around with in high school and college who had a tremendous impact on my piano playing. Lots of honky-tonk, ragtime-y, bluesy riffs. So I wanted to have a signature "JohnLove" section, if you will, where I returned to what I'm best at and just let a little nasty, bluesy solo loose amidst the waltz-y atmosphere! The last 60 seconds is definitely paying homage to my dear friend, KB. I'll always be reminded of him when I play it!
We’ve heard that John Love was known as the “unprepared student” before you quit lessons and learned piano on your own. Why do you think your passion and talent grew after taking on piano at your own terms?
Ah yes! A title I still tend to don even as an adult... Bless my Aunt Jill for giving her all to teach me when I was a young, hyper, sports-crazed grade-schooler! I think when it boils down to it, laziness and a distracted mind were the real culprits to my unpreparedness as a child! I was distracted by playing outside and not wanting to be inside learning a new skill. So, as I grew mentally and physically, so did my passion and talent. Rhythm has always seemed to come naturally to me. I realized music was something that made sense but I enjoyed doing it my own way. No offense to my Aunt who tried to teach me, it's just I wanted to learn my way, I suppose. I'm a loose cannon who doesn't play by anyone's rules! Or maybe it's just because I can be stubborn like that... My passion grew because I wanted to do something with music and I wanted to entertain people. That's the real culprit; my hunger to entertain. I also get my passion for watching great pianists and striving to be like them. My Aunt Jill Briggs and Aunt Kellee Love Haselton. My cousins Nat and Sarah Zegree. My good friends, Brock Gwaltney and Ken Bradbury. My so-called "talent' comes from years of just practicing, being ardent about this skill. I have worked really hard at learning the piano in a way that makes sense to me. And there is so much more I strive to learn, so the passion is still burning!
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
Oh with these uncertain times, I have been able to write a lot of original music. So I have many things in the works! Music that is going to require more studio time to add live drums and guitar, vocals. With this release being only piano, it was simpler for me to just record and mix/master it on my own laptop software. So hopefully later in the year, when the world is returning to normal (I'm trying to put those good vibes and hopefulness out there!) I'll release an EP or something that highlights the music I wrote during quarantine. Who knows! What I can tell you is that you'll definitely hear some new music from the band I play in - The North and Wells Band! We plan to put out music, whether in the form of an EP or more singles, as soon as possible. No specific dates, but ASAP! Thanks for your time!!