Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Member Burr S. of the band Delicious Pastries is coordinating the annual FAWM.ORG challenge. The goal is for each author to pen 14.5 new songs for the month of February. For Burr, the project started as a hobby and has become part of his research at CMU. From Burr, "After running the project for fun for several years, I am now beginning to use it as a laboratory to study theories of social motivation, and as a testbed for "computational creativity" software (see http://muse.fawm.org) --- with a few scientific publications on these subjects already."

From the press release:

In 2011, so-called “fawmers” collectively penned more than 10,000 new songs, instrumentals, and works of sound art during the year’s shortest month. By mid-January of this year, more than 6,000 musicians have registered to take up the challenge from six continents and 90 countries including Canada, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and all fifty U.S. States. FAWM is the largest songwriting challenge of its kind.

Most fawmers are musical hobbyists, while many are professional musicians and recording industry professionals who use FAWM as a much-needed creative exercise.  FAWM began when founder Burr Settles wrote  a  short novel as a graduate student for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2003.  He and three friends then challenged each other to write a song every other day in February 2004, using an informal weblog where they posted demo recordings and constructive comments throughout the process.  Due  to  the  public  interest  that followed, Settles developed a website for the challenge in 2005, which has continued to grow every year since.

For more information please go to these links: