At In the Studio we present Sting hosting a fascinating look into both his family history, retold as fable, as well as his bold Broadway musical which opened Sunday, The Last Ship , his first new music in a decade. As Sting explains in part one, the bestselling 2005 memoir Broken Music and the 2007-2008 Police reunion world tour (the third-largest in concert history) left his creative tank empty and his muse AWOL. Sting’s talent and superstar career were much like the real-life cruise ship Costa Concordia: massive, immaculate, yet run aground, listing heavily on its side and half submerged. Sting was longing for a rising tide that would lift him up and right his creative course, and he discovered that it was only he that had anchored his musical vessel and that he was actually immersed in inspiration. Sting just had to give himself permission to get out of his own way.
(Sting (r) with lead actor Jimmy Nail )
“Well, you know I have total freedom to do whatever whim takes me,” Sting admits.” And in the end, you end up like a curator. You say ‘ Oh, I’d like that in my museum. And that, and that, and that.’ And you mix and match, and I think I’m pretty good at creating a synthesis of different disparate elements, and hopefully make something new. I’m not a folk musician. I’m not a jazz musician. I like to try and create a hybrid, which for me is where the creative spark is. I’m not there to be steeped in one tradition, that’s not what I do. I’m much more of a gadfly. I like sparks flying. And the results are unpredictable, and not always successful, but I think it’s worth having the experiment. So that’s what my job is – to mix things up a bit.” Part one of two. – Redbeard