Dynamic Duos

Lennon and McCartney; Elton and Bernie; Jagger and Richards... Jordan and Amanda? As I mentioned previously, I participated in February Album Writing Month this year (after filing it under "that'll never happen" after firsting hearing about it a few years ago), and while I didn't hit the requisite 14 songs, I did manage to be involved with 6, which represents a 600% increase for me over the past 13 years or so. My favorite ones to come out of that were collaborations.

In my previous post, I talked about my friend John (who has been a musical partner of mine since high school), but this time I'd like to give a shout-out to my latest collaborator, Mrs. Creative DC herself. One of the tunes I'm happiest with came out of a collaboration session we had a few nights ago - I had some chords I'd been playing with, she had an idea for a theme. She banged out some lyrics in record time and I expanded and changed my chord structure to better fit the snippet of melody she had in her head. After some back and forth, we ended up with My Name In Lights, which represents the last FAWM song I'll be able to work on this month due to a hectic travel schedule.

Take a listen, and let me know what you think! Oh, and if you're putting off that creatively fulfilling thing - please do yourself a favor and just try it. I had to write 4 or 5 songs before I hit on one I really liked - but you never get to that one if you never start.

UPDATE [2/2010]: FAWM doesn't keep your songs up after each round, so the "listen" link above was broken. You can hear the song using the player below.

[Editor's note: this was intended to be a longer post about songwriting collaborations, but I'm exhausted and have to get up early to get out of town. Sorry.]


Time To Make An Album

From flickr user HissRecordsWell, it's February again. And that means it's time to record an album. There are not one but two organizations pushing this awesome idea: FAWM (February Album Writing Month) and The RPM Challenge. The concept is simple: write (and optionally record) an entire album's worth (10 or 14, depending on which site you're reading) of songs entirely during the month of February. That's it. They don't have to be great songs, they don't even have to be good songs. They just have to be songs that you wrote.

I've read about this in year's past, but never had the guts to try and actually participate until now (I don't really trust my own songwriting instincts). Fortunately, I don't have to go it alone, and neither do you! The FAWM site in particular is very helpful in helping people find musical collaborators - and I've been using this feature to up my song count by collaborating with my former band-mate John (currently rocking the guitar for the Madison, WI band Race Bannon). Using nothing more than some simple recording tools (on my end), some fancier recording tools (on his end), and the magic of FTP, I've been able to contribute vocals to his songs and he's been able to contribute musical hotness to mine. We've only just started working together in this way, but so far I'm pleased with the results (John wrote the music and did all the mixing for this song, a friend of his wrote the words, and I recorded the vocals). I like the concept of long-distance musical collaboration. I haven't played with indabamusic yet, but it looks like something I'd love.

I might not write the greatest song ever written this month, but at least I'm writing something, and that's more songwriting than I've done since high school. What creative endeavors are you embarking on? Tell me in the comments. (For more on creative endeavors, check out the always inspiring Creative DC blog.)