I like finding new music. And I love listening to music that is created in ways outside of the typical sit-in-a-studio-and-write-til-we-have-an-album method. Knowing that there’s a good, interesting story or circumstance behind it can make up for a mediocre song (at least to a certain point), and I always enjoy having a tiny window into the creative process of good musicians.
In the last two weeks, I found a couple of really interesting musical projects that take artists out of their normal element and force them to write music in circumstances that they normally wouldn’t.
The first of these two is called Project Song and it’s from NPR’s All Songs Considered. The jist is this: NPR brings in a musician (so far they’ve only done three episodes) and the host puts out a series of pictures and a series of words in front of the artist. The person has to pick a picture and a word which will guide the direction of their song, and then they have 48 hours to write and record a song. The results aren’t anything spectacular, but it’s really interesting to see the directions the musicians take. On the website you can watch videos of the creative process and listen to the finished products.
The second project is called Record of the Week Club (RotWC). RotWC is a Winnipeg-based project in which three local musicians are invited to a studio to write and record a song overnight. The musicians don’t know who they’ll be working with and they usually are all from different musical backgrounds (e.g. a DJ working with a Jazz pianist and a folk musician). The style is mostly electro-folk type music, but there are a few exceptions. Like Project Song, the results are hit-and-miss, but out of the 16 total songs there are a handful of gems. If you like the songs you can buy a CD with all 16 songs on it, but if you want to just listen online you can listen to the full-length songs on the website.