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Other artists keep their music under lock and key until it’s fully polished, but jazz star Esperanza Spalding wants to “rely on improvisation and first instinct” for her next album. That’s why she’s writing, recording and arranging 10 songs for it — most with lyrics — within a 77-hour period while streaming the whole process through Facebook Live. It’ll be a tough three days, but based on Spalding’s impressive résumé, she’s more than qualified to accomplish her goal. The four-time Grammy Award-winning artist plays multiple instruments, has been a professional musician since she was 15 and has recently been named as a professor at Harvard University’s Music Department.
Spalding knows a lot of people would see the stream as a gimmick, a stunt to promote the album aptly titled “Exposure.” But by being as transparent as she can and recording in front of a live audience, she’s not giving her brain a chance to second guess itself. She expects the resulting tracks to be more honest and closer to their sources of inspiration. In addition, she’s not giving her label a chance to ask her to change a track or bring in a guest to boost sales.
She wrote in a statement:
“I foresee that creating before a live audience will add excitement and extra inspiration energy. Knowing someone is watching and listening to what you’re making seems to conjure up a sort of “can’t fail” energy. The necessity to keep going because it’s live draws up another depth of creative facility that can’t be reached when you know you can try again tomorrow.
Having such limited time to write and record 10 songs will also force us to rely on improvisation and first instinct. Not allowing us time to judge, second guess, question, or alter the initial hits of inspiration that drive the creation of each song.
That means that the audience will get a record of the most potent, charged, fresh-from-the ethers-compositional, musical and lyrical content. Of course they will be formed into songs, but they’ll carry the charge of the immediate, of the innately inspired artists co-creating in the room throughout the 3 day process.”
The jazz artist’s 77-hour livestream will kick off on September 12th, 12PM Eastern. She still needs a few more weeks after the recording session to mix and master her album, though, and expects to release 7,777 physical copies (it won’t be sold digitally) by mid-fall.