February Album Writing MADNESS!

It seems like a little progress report on the challenge might be in order. For those just joining our little adventure, I recently decided to take up the February Album Writing Month challenge (or some variant). All I have to do is write and record an album worth of songs in 28 days. Piece of cake, right? I mean, it doesn’t even have to be good — it just has to be done. Surely if that attitude can work for a doctoral dissertation, it can work for writing a bunch of songs! How hard can it be?




Because I am, well, me, I made it even sillier — I told myself that re-recording demo versions of songs I already wrote would be my fallback, my modification of the process.  Ha. That shit turned out to be even harder than just writing new songs. I am stupid about recording, although I’m learning. I have to fight the constant urge to get obsessive about mixing, and I get incredibly frustrated with my own inability to make things sound right. *sigh*

Just the same, I am making decent progress and still getting actual sleep and keeping up with all of the bazillion other things I have to do, which is good. I now have a total of four new songs, and I redid two older ones for which I never had satisfactory demos in the past. I count that good. I suspect only one or two of the new songs is really any good, but it’s been fun figuring out how to make them work and forcing myself to get them done.

Among the things I have learned so far because of this challenge:

1) Panning = awesome.
2) Ringy overtones will just have to be forgiven.
3) The back of my dulcimer makes a perfectly respectable cheap bongo imitator.
4) I need to find a new tempo range — most of what I write seems to end up somewhere between 100 and 120 bpm.
5) I am a craptastic lyricist with delusions of poetic grandeur and a tendency to choose the mildly clever over the meaningful, but I just can’t seem to care enough to get better. Suck it, Yeats.

The new songs, in order of writing/recording, are:

Nowhere (My debut on the mountain dulcimer, complete with maddening overtone.)

The Breakup (Physics! Relationships! Misguided cleverness! Catchy tune!)

Sam Says Goodbye (My bizarro tribute to The Maltese Falcon. I think that if I have time before the 28th, I may re-record this one and extend the ending a bit.)

Faraday Cage (I know nothing about electrical engineering. I have a vague idea of what a faraday cage is. This song does not represent responsible thinking on the subject.)

If you feel some silly need to hear the re-recorded demos (and a few other old demos that I just threw on the list), there’s a link to the “album” (such as it is) on the sidebar here.

OK — 4 down, at least 6 to go…

Oh, dear.


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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