I’ve been dropping sporadic hints on my Twitter feed and my Facebook artist page for the last month or two, that I am considering an idea for my next musical project. To cut a long story short: I’ve finished considering, and can now unleash my brilliant idea on a breath-bated world…
Yesterday evening, I signed up for the 50/90 Challenge.
No, it’s not some kind of charity initiative (worthy though that would be)—the 50/90 Challenge is a spin-off from FAWM (February Album Writing Month, which I’m also going to tackle early next year, so hold that thought). In a nutshell, the challenge—as its name suggests—is to write (and if possible, demo) fifty songs in ninety days.
A Herculean task, it might seem, so it’s worth pointing out that the aim isn’t to produce fifty Cole-Porterian masterpieces in that time (though clearly that would be most pleasing if possible). Initiatives such as FAWM and 50/90 are intended to break one of the most common causes of “songwriter’s block”: the fear of writing something “sub-standard” that might open the composer up to ridicule, criticism, etc.
A “hothouse” environment like 50/90 has the potential to replicate the creative conditions such as that at the Brill Building in New York, where resident songwriters such as Carole King, Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka had to compose hits in a short space of time (almost on a “production line”). Of course, not every item they produced was a gem, but one could argue persuasively that the high-pressure environment pushed the writers to come up with songs they might not otherwise have created.
So, I’ve signed up to 50/90, which starts on the 4th July. You can follow my progress on my 50/90 artist page, and I also plan to post updates on Twitter, Facebook and (probably) here. Furthermore, I’ll be posting song demos to my SoundCloud page (and probably my Bandcamp site too), so you’ll be able to hear what I’m working on (warts and all!).
Looks like it could be a bit of a white-knuckle ride—one song every just-under-two days???—but I’m looking forward to it…