One month: one album. Free all your musical creativity for 31 days this year
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I often hear the phrase 'The album is dead', then perhaps something about how streaming platforms are taking over and changing the way people listen to and produce music.
Well, I'm pleased to report that, here in Norwich, the album is alive and well.
Last month, along with several other local music makers, I took part in the latest in an ongoing series of One Month Album challenges. The idea is to write and record an album's-worth of original material during a particular month, then release it on the first day of the following month. The completed album should aim to be either 10 tracks long, or 35 minutes in overall length. Other than that, you can do what you like. Of course this is no small task.
Also, with the technology available to us now it is often too easy to spend months, if not years, working on an album, endlessly tweaking mixes and re-recording parts.
If you've ever tried to record your own material at home then you will probably know what I'm talking about. The one month album project transcends this issue and forces out the creativity and spontaneity of those who take part.
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I initiated this project in Norwich after taking part in a similar online project in 2013 – The RPM challenge. This invites people from around the world to write and record an album during the February of each year. My February album, Februum, became very much about my experience of that February. That cold February of 2013 when our boiler broke down and we were without heating or hot water for over two weeks. Listening back to it now is like reading a diary entry. Still, I had made an album in a month.
The process of having to make decisions and get things down quickly, without being too precious about the results, completely reinvigorated my passion for making music.
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I felt inspired and wanted to do it again for all the other months of the year. I was interested to know how each of those months, and what happened during them, would affect the music I made.
I invited some friends to take part too and the One Month Album group was born.
To date there have been three One Month Albums – May 2014, October 2014 and March 2015 and there have been a total of 29 albums produced.
The final night of the month, when everyone is rushing to finish and post their albums to the Facebook group, listening to each other's and sharing their experiences, is genuinely exciting.
The next round is happening in August of this year and is open to all.
Join the Facebook Group and take part at www.facebook.com/groups/onemonthalbums/
Listen to the albums at www.onemonthalbum.blogspot.com/