this is not your sawtooth wave (kineticfactory) wrote,
this is not your sawtooth wave

  • Music:

My NaSoAlMo dilemma

NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, is about to kick off, and various people I know are giving it a go. I can't see myself writing a novel just yet, so not this year.

For the more musically oriented, there is also NaSoAlMo, National Solo Album Month. I signed up for that last year. By the end of November, I had about 15 minutes of works in progress towards an album.

The problem with NaSoAlMo is that, if you don't write songs with lyrics, it's a lot harder to do something that has a point. I could easily churn out 30 minutes' worth of beats, sequences and chopped-up loops in a day, and call it an album. It'd slide under the no-quality-control policy of NaSoAlMo. But it'd be crap, and it wouldn't be an accomplishment, but rather a pointless technical exercise. That's not art, it's just punching buttons.

(Backstory: about 10 years ago, I wrote a bunch of Tcl scripts for generating random music, sort of modelled on the dance music of the day, and played with Gravis UltraSound general-MIDI sounds. Given that I have gotten a computer to churn out drivel, spending effort doing so myself has little attraction to me.)

(If I was any good at writing lyrics, and I wish I was, I could do that and badly sing twee little songs about various silly subjects over the top, and it would magically mean something more than a random collection of sounds. I can write words, but the word-writing part of my brain doesn't seem to talk to the music part of my brain. I can never get words with a melody or rhythm attached to them.)

Anyway, the problem is that the next step up from slapping together an arbitrary collection of loops and stuff is putting together music and working on it, polishing it and refining it until it sounds good and is fit to see the light of day. Which is a big leap; the way I work, it usually takes me months, on and off, before a track I do passes muster. Which puts a damper on churning it out in a month.

Also, last year, I had a month of (expensive) unemployment in November. This year, I'm working and also have other things on, which would cut into my NaSoAlMo working time.

If I were to do NaSoAlMo, I would have to have some kind of strategy or plan towards making an album. Perhaps a concept, or a set of constraints; some means of going about getting 30 minutes (i.e., 6-10 tracks) recorded/assembled/whatever. And I haven't thought of one yet. I'm still not sure whether I'll sign up this year.

Also, I'd probably need a new name for my project; the old name, The Random Numbers, sounds too much like a certain schmindie-pop band.
Tags: creative, my music, nasoalmo

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