October 25, 2004

announcing NaSoAlMo!

Yes, it's time for NaSoAlMo: National Solo Album Month.

November is NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month, an exercise in writing a 50,000-word novel in the space of a month. Some of you may remember that I did it in 2001, and had a great time. So this year, with apologies to Chris Baty, I'm declaring that November is also National Solo Album Month: those brave souls who are up for it will write and record an entire solo album in the course of its 30 days.

FAQ that nobody's actually asked yet:

Q. So, for the purposes of NaSoAlMo, what exactly is a solo album?

A. An album of music you have written, played and recorded entirely by yourself*. The shortest inarguably awesome album I can think of offhand that a lot of people have heard is the first Ramones album, which is 29:09 long, so your solo album must be at least that long. Beyond that, its form and content are up to you.

*Since Ramones includes a cover of "Let's Dance," your NaSoAlMo album may, if you wish, include one cover of somebody else's song.

Q. So is this a competition? Who's judging it? What do I win? What if it's not good enough? Do I have to send it in? Do I have to play it for anyone? Help!

A. No. This isn't a competition: this is a challenge. The winners are everyone who completes a solo album by November 30; what you will have won is that you will have made an album by yourself. You needn't play it for anyone else, and you certainly don't have to send it in--although I will listen to any you feel like sending me. It doesn't have to please anyone but yourself, if that; you are going for your own personal best here. The point is actually doing the work, starting and finishing the project. It's easy when you've got a deadline!

Q. Does it have to be professional-sounding?

A. Of course not. It doesn't have to be professional-anything: the point is the fun of making it. I encourage you to record with whatever you've got around the house--4-track, Audacity, boom-box, whatever.

Q. How do I sign up for NaSoAlMo? And then what do I do?

A. Sign up by the end of October (oh, after is fine, I suppose, but wouldn't you rather have the whole month to work on your solo album?) by sending an email to nasoalmo [at-sign] douglaswolk.com, to let me know that you're in. Unless you indicate otherwise, I'll post your name and (if you have one) web site here. At 12:01 November 1, as you're noshing your Halloween candy, you can start work on your solo album. If you've finished by the end of November--when you've finished, rather--let me know that you've won, and I'll post a winner's hall of fame here.

Q. How much, exactly, does this idea owe to Chris Baty and NaNoWriMo?

A. Everything. Thank you, Chris.

Spread the word, and let me know if you have any other questions!

Posted by Douglas at October 25, 2004 10:34 AM | TrackBack

Brilliant, Douglas!

Posted by: lalitree on October 25, 2004 11:58 AM

This should spur some creativity, great idea!

Posted by: largeheartedboy on October 26, 2004 7:14 PM

you and Chris Baty should have a cross-promotion where anyone who produces both a novel and an album in November gets elected president or something.

Posted by: gabe on October 27, 2004 11:54 PM

hey doug -- count me in!

Posted by: maria t on October 31, 2004 8:37 AM



Posted by: fluffy on November 2, 2004 11:37 AM


Posted by: judson on November 2, 2004 11:58 AM

There's also February Album Writing Month: http://fawm.settles.org/

Posted by: rdi on November 11, 2004 5:04 AM
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