One of my favorite things about the new year, is that early in the year (February 1st), a group of musicians gather online each in an effort to write an album of 14 songs (14½ this year!) throughout the 29 (leap year!) days of February. We call this “FAWM” which stands for February Album Writing Month. The idea is that you write one song every two days (though you’re not limited to just that! I wrote 56 one year!), however since this year is a leap year, you’d come out with an extra half of a song. What’s half of a song, you ask? For that one, it’s suggested that you find and collaborate with a parter via FAWM.ORG, and believe me, there are plenty of members that would love to work with you. Some of my favorite works (example: Track #6 on SENSATIONS by Sean Wright) from FAWM have been collaborations.
If you’re stuck with a case of writer’s block, which I get frequently (we all do), the site offers a plethora of tools to help you find inspiration. Each week there is a prompt on the home page that is meant to be a challenge, and a source of inspiration for a new song. This challenge could involve finding a random photograph and writing lyrics about it, or imagining that you were commissioned to write a song for your favorite band. On top of the challenges, there are also four songwriting tools the developers have come up with—Plot spline, Struxxure, LyriCloud, and Titular, all for helping write songs. These range from generating random (and potentially awkward) song titles, to grouping similar keywords together to aid in lyric writing, to providing a form (verses, chorus, bridge). They’re loads of fun, and practically make the songs write themselves.
If you’re thinking this sounds interesting, but you’d like to hear the cream of the crop from the past six years of FAWM, you’re in luck! Each year, musicians who participate (FAWMers, as we call them) can choose to submit songs to be on the FAWMpilation CD—a compilation of some of the best, and most representative songs of the FAWM community. It also helps the website if you buy one of the FAWMpialtion CDs because all proceeds go to help offset the costs for the administrators, and running a free website for thousands of musicians isn’t free, and it doesn’t necessarily feel like a donation, because you get an awesome CD of 14 great songs out of the deal! That’s what we call a “win-win” situation!
Anyway, if you’re interested, I highly recommend it. You’ve got nothing to lose, and 14½ brand new songs, tons of new friends, and a lot of fun to gain! It’s a really good time, and it’s free! Check out FAWM.org for more. The site’s not fully up at the time I’m posting this, but you can sign up for the mailing list to find out exactly when it will be up and running! There’s only 30 days left!