Its been just over a month since I completed my 10 tracks 10 weeks project, enough time for me to draw some conclusions about the whole shebang.
(For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, through August and September this year I wrote and released one track a week for 10 weeks, you can read about the process and listen to the music here.)
As I can’t remember exactly exactly what my original hopes were for the project (it seems like such a long time ago now), I’ve gone through the original 10 tracks 10 weeks blog post, and will address each of them to see how I fared.
I wanted to find my distinct musical voice
I got 50% of the way there.
While I some of this album fits together as a whole, in my opinion other parts don’t. I didn’t have the luxury of writing more than 10 tracks and picking the best ones, and one of the points of this process was to discover the “real” me musically, so I am forgiving myself for the slightly schizophrenic nature of the finished product.
I still think its an engaging listen (which I guess is the most important thing), but I’m sure that if I’d written this album more traditionally, a few of the tracks wouldn’t have made it to the final cut. Not because I don’t like them (in fact I don’t hate any of them which is something of a surprise), but because they don’t fit.
Overall the exercise was very useful to me as a musician, because I discovered what feels right, and have got closer to understanding what makes me tick musically.
I didn’t want to think about the market
I found that the opposite occurred, but this wasn’t a negative experience at all. Quite the reverse.
While I wasn’t worrying about sales exactly (because it was all free) at first I became quite fixated on the number of downloads until I forced myself to stop constantly checking the figures.
But the direct response I got from all the comments, Tweets and Facebook messages was a revelation. I was much more aware and attuned to the reaction of my audience whilst writing the music than I’ve ever been in the past.
And I was surprised to find that instead of leading to insecurities and difficulties in my creative process, this connection sustained me in my difficult moments. I found them immensely energising and inspiring. (Thank you!)
I wanted to avoid “endless head scratching”
Apart from the experience of connecting directly with my audience, this was the biggest benefit I got from the process. I’ve always found writing any music to be singularly painful and somewhat excruciating, and 10 tracks 10 weeks was no different.
But after consistently hitting deadline for 10 weeks in a row, I’ve gained an enormous amount of confidence in my ability to ship. I’ve also realised that its much more important and artistically honest to get something out even if you’re unsure about it than go round in circles trying to make it perfect. “Prolific not perfect” is my mantra now.
So in general I’d say 10 tracks 10 weeks was an unrivaled success. The finished product is good enough, in fact something I’m proud of. I have thought about repeating the process, then choosing the 10 tracks that work the best out of the resulting 20 to make a finished album with, but I’ve decided to leave it as is.
Because for all its faults, 10 tracks 10 weeks is a document of a process and an experience which I want to preserve and remember for what it was – the most exciting and enlightening creative project I have every undertaken.
And anyway, now its time for me to get on with my next idea! 🙂
What do you think? How was it for you? What are your favourite tracks?