Tracking will start on the record in January but the last preproduction session of 2015 was about continuing to run songs and exploring ideas for arrangements.
One important point that came out of the conversation was about capturing the essential energy of a song, and how that energy changes as a song evolves from a seed into a demo and beyond. Sometimes the seed of the song captured on a smartphone or a scratch track has a liveliness to it that slowly disappears as it is massaged into a more complete piece and arrangement.
As a result there are times when it may be helpful to scrap the demo version and go at a song fresh in order to re-energize it and bring back the sparkle of that first blush of an idea.
Philosophers and anthropologists talk about liminality, that moment of first encounter with something new and unknown. It’s a notion that captures the idea of a threshold, of disorientation, of radical potential. The liminal energy of a new song is vital, and trying to bring it out in a record is a priority if the track is to come alive for the listener.
One of the tracks planned for the record, “Meet me in Montreal” has been indelibly etched in my mind with an arrangement I cobbled together for the first demo of it.
Everett and I had an important conversation about that song yesterday, discussing the idea of departing from that demo version and taking it in a brand new direction from a production standpoint.
And while the demo version is familiar and has some good ideas in it, I’m totally okay with trying something new as a way to recover that liminal energy and inject into it some outside creative influences. I realize that it’s not quite a tabula rasa but it is more about returning to that original place of inspiration … or getting back to where I once belonged.