Esperanza Spalding: It can be the residue of working consistently towards something you haven’t been struck by yet. You may be a poet that doesn’t feel inspired. But by going through the motions, so to speak, of the tools of your craft, this other — like “dark matter” — is generated that starts to take on a density and a form and a reality of its own. Then there’s the type of creative spark that is literally just a spark in the dark, and you don’t know what caused it and you go searching for it. And the process of searching for it usually reveals a piece or a project or an idea. I think of it like excavating ruins or fossils. And I think even that can be intuitive. Like, what if we dug here, or you can do the research to discover, “Oh, if I dig here, there’s going to be something.” I know in my case — this feels really silly to talk about, because it’s so vast and nebulous and sort of globular at times. The feeling of an idea hitting you? It’s really hard to grab the tail of a cloud, and like,”It looks like this!” That being said, a title will come — and then it’s like a chain reaction, like buh-da-da-da!. And then a whole song develops. Like a slip of the tongue, the other day. We were joking about hardened criminals and we said “hardened subliminals.” And then we kept spinning off — I kept — Lee and me and all the ones inside my head kept spinning off of what that could mean. Hardened subliminals. What would that mean? Then it starts to bring up this imagery of like the prison of your mind, where these subliminals that you haven’t even been realizing were in there — you don’t even know why they’re in there in the first place, or who sent them there, or where they came from. It’s like they’re in there so long they just get hardened and then they can’t change. And you don’t know where to send them. Anyways. And then that — it just can go on forever. But many times a little thing over there turns on a whole world, kind of. It’s like you didn’t know that there was a switch that was connected to all this, and now it all starts to come alive and you just want to tell people what you saw in that toy store.