March 6, 2017

February Album Writing Month, 2017

Category: Music — jerry @ 2:22 pm

Well, look who’s back!

Yes, it’s been a couple of years or so since I’ve posted to the old blog. Been off doing other things and pretty much taking care of my need to rant on Facebook.

But I just had a life-changing experience after signing up for “February Album Writing Month” at FAWM.org, and I wanted to share it with you with the hope that it might inspire others to do something like this themselves. (Full disclosure: I first signed up at FAWM.org back in 2012–but never got around to following through. This year I did!)

I retired back in 2007 (OMG–almost 10 years ago), with every intent of doing something creative: music, writing, whatever. I’ve read several hundred books since then, but haven’t written, and haven’t done much music–although I’ve continued to spend a ton of time reading about writing, reading about music, buying books, buying software…waiting for the day I’d get over my Creative Blocks.

This year I got over it music-wise. February having been such a success in breaking through the music block, I have my sights set now on NaNoWriMo in November.

Because I did, indeed, completely write and record 14 songs during the month of February, 2017–and some of them weren’t half-bad. Here’s a playlist of 11 of them that I’ll lay claim to and which I have posted to YouTube (the first three are not in this playlist– they suck, and I’m chalking up to “learning curve”):

They are flawed. The vocals were pretty much always done in one take, with lots of pitch correcting done in Celemony’s Melodyne–leaving some unpleasant “artifacts” ala “Cher effect”/”T Pain effect”. (Not sure that they are any more unpleasant than listening to my raw vocals, however!) Trying to do 14 songs in 28 days made me feel rushed, and so I took some short cuts in some areas. With the benefit of hindsight, when I do it the next time I’ll do multiple takes on the vocals until I have something satisfactory that doesn’t involve physically moving audio around with a mouse trying to make things more “musical”.

Anyway, my intent is to, over the next weeks, describe for each song, how these “sketches” (as I intend to re-record them someday to get a finished product) were inspired, written, and recorded. I hope you enjoy my journey as much as I did.

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