What’s YOUR creative process?
Everyone’s is different. Some artists don’t show their work until they’re 100 percent happy with it. But Evan and I love to let a new song find its feet in performance. Often we’ll come up with a skeleton arrangement, rehearse it with the band, and then throw it out into the world — the experience of playing it live creates room between rough draft and finished arrangement for magic to happen.
We recently added Blue Drag, a tune written in the early 1930s by Josef Myrow for which Django Reinhardt was so in the tank, he recorded it more than once.
The lyrics are about a dance (the blue drag) turning into an obsession and overtaking the protagonist’s life, but the mood suggests the dance may be a stand-in for addiction to something darker and more insidious — and that’s what I wanted to tease out in the arrangement.
I brought a sketch to the band that began with a conversation between tap and vocal — I imagined tap kicking it off with a soft shoe setting the beat, then fluttering feather-light fills around the vocal to represent the way descent into obsession can start out as something barely perceptible. We’ve played this tune a dozen times now, and we’re still tinkering, but that’s the fun of how an idea can take shape.
To all the creators out there: Do you keep your nascent ideas under wraps until they’re fully formed? Or do you usher them out into the world and see what happens?
I’m curious! Drop your comments below. 👞 @aclincolnofficial