February Album Writing Month, or FAWM for short, is a challenge to write 14 songs in the 28 days of February. Artists come together with the common goal of supporting each other and offering feedback throughout the month. The idea is that inspiration, creativity, and new ideas might arise through actually writing instead of waiting around for inspiration to hit.
I’m participating this year. I look forward to writing more. Perhaps March and April will be just as productive.
My thoughts, experiences, and struggles throughout this month of writing will be made known. This is my first FAWM (some people on the site are veteran “fawmers” and are much more productive than I), and I’m excited.
Demos can be heard on my profile.
11 more songs to go.
It has been a personal goal of mine to download and listen to an album every week. I’m always interested in discovering new music, and I’ve found a lot of great albums on a website called NoiseTrade.
The principle is simple. Artists put their music on the site, and it can be downloaded for free in exchange for an email address and zip code. There’s also an option to “tip” artists. “Fans get free music. Artists connect with new fans. Everybody wins.”
There is a lot of really great music from many different types of artists on the site. It’s definitely worth looking around to see if there’s anything interesting.
Here are a few recommendations.
I’ve been away from the website for a while. There are a number of reasons. I undertook a project over the summer where I recorded and mixed a boatload of cover tunes. I just delivered the last of the final mixes a few weeks ago. I’ve also been working on some smaller projects for a number of artists. I recently tracked drums for a band that is making an album in a home studio.
I’ve also been practicing a lot. I’m always learning something new. Practicing is supplemented with writing, and I’ve been composing a fair amount of material recently.
I recently began to record sessions in which I freely improvise for 30 minutes. My hope is that ideas might develop over time. I’m interested in collecting ideas from these recordings for composition. I’ve begun to comb through the recordings and find ideas which interest me. The categorization and fusion of these ideas are practices which I’ve been exploring. I’ve yet to have a sudden realization and write an entire album based on one motif, but I’m sure there is more to come.
I’m going to make a real effort to keep the website alive with new blog posts on a more regular basis, and I’m looking forward to working on more of my own projects in the new year.
I’ve been quite busy the last two weeks. Between working for others and for myself, I’ve done so much.
Last Friday I recorded an entire band. They played thirteen cover tunes. We tracked everything except vocals in about three hours, and it was recorded all in one small room. It was quite an experience. To make a long story short, I had to learn to embrace mic bleed.
I’ve also begun my my first FAWM experience this week. I decided to enter into this year’s 50/90 challenge. I’ve written a few tunes so far, and I have many more to go. It’s a good way to force myself to write. I might get down to the last few weeks and be churning out songs like clockwork, or I might struggle. Either way, it’s good motivation if I can stick to the deadline of 50 tunes by October 1st. And there aren’t any promises that all 50 of them are worth keeping around for very long.
Despite several days without electricity, I’m plowing through this work and practicing like mad. I hope I come out of this summer a better musician. That’s the overarching goal anyhow.
The Russian-American writer Ayn Rand once said:
A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
I’ll be keeping that in mind as I write throughout the next three months. Perhaps it’s good advice for life in general.
If you’d like to listen to demos of the tunes I’ve been writing for 50/90, you can visit my profile on the 50/90 website.
I’d like to let you know that I’ve updated my website with a new, cleaner, perhaps better looking design. It’s easier to find stuff, and I’m happy with it.
On another note, I discovered something yesterday that made me really think, and I decided to act.
I signed up for the 50/90 Challenge. It’s a challenge to write fifty songs in ninety days (July 4th through October 1st). That’s one song every slightly-less-than-two days. I’m probably insane, but I’d like to see if I can do it. I look forward to perhaps finding a gem here or there.
That’s all for now, I’m going to update this blog more. I’m aiming for weekly posts about the 50/90 challenge, some work I’ll be doing, and anything else that happens in my life which might be worth writing about.