I’m undertaking a new way to make music. Wanna help? I’m going to let my friends and fans…MY AUDIENCE…YOU…help me create my next set of songs. While I haven’t yet figured out exactly how I’m going to make this all work…or if it will work at all, I do know that it will involve me asking you which direction I should go next…or which of the ideas I’ve created interests you most… If you can take the time to check out what I’m doing and respond, I’ll do my best to incorporate your feedback and show you how it comes out.
I’m currently fascinated with this idea for several reasons. First, I’ve had a tendency to create a bunch of music before packaging it and letting everyone hear it….that’s the traditional model of how songs have been released, really. It tends to take a long time between releases…(Just think of how long it is between U2 albums.) I think this model is dying. Indie artists like me should be the first ones to kill it! (Where’s my knife?) The delay between when a songwriter has an initial idea and when he or she gets real feedback on that idea from their fans is way too long…especially for me…especially these days when I’m juggling complicated work life, home life, and music. In addition, I find that when I do put out a batch of new songs, the ones you (my audience) choose as your favorites often surprise me. I want to get your feedback sooner.
Secondly, I want to let you into my creative process in the hopes you will support what I’m doing…by that I mean, I want you listen to it as it develops…to think about where it’s going before it gets there…to tell your friends about the music we create together…and, of course, I wouldn’t mind if you buy some of my music when it’s done…
Finally, I think this idea is interesting because I believe it is the next step in interactive music. Artists that have tried to let their fans into the creative process up until now have mostly still held too tight a control on what they let the audience do. For example, they’ll release individual tracks from the master tape and let the audience mix it. This means, the song is written, the tracks are recorded, and the tracks are often submixed, and then they are given to the audience to twist a few knobs with. Or….like Weezer did, they’ll let the audience put together the recorded tracks into a song…i.e. a very light-weight remix. Or even, they’ll supply the music and let the audience write the lyrics. That’s better, but still pretty tightly controlled. What I want to do is to let you help me decided what is good, bad, and mediocre about what I’m doing as I’m doing it. I’ll be doing all the work, but you’ll be providing your opinions. And when you see a spot where there’s a hair out-of-place, I’ll get out the razor. (Where IS my knife??)
I won’t be asking you to join the band (yet)…but I will think of you as an outside producer…one who will help shape what comes out of me with your opinions…kind of like my very own 5th Beatle. In fact, that’s what I’ll call this…The 5th Beatle Project!
In case you missed my first survey, you can take it now. Here the results so far. I find them very interesting…I’m interested to see what the first song will be.
Please join my mailing list so I can keep you up-to-date with my progress. In my next post, you can pick which song idea I work on first…