50 songs in 90 days

Published by Beto Dealmeida on

Reflections on the 50/90 challenge

Since 2016 I've been participating in an online musical challenge called 50/90. The goal is to write 50 songs during the 90 days of (northern hemisphere) summer. There are no prizes, just an amazingly supportive community. People give feedback, suggest prompts, and host skirmishes (you have one hour to write a song on a given topic).

50 songs sound like a lot, but as most things in life it gets easier the more you practice. This year I had a really slow start, writing only 2 songs in the first 2 months. When I had 24 days left I decided to write 2 songs on each remaining day, and I was actually able to do that.

Most days I would wake up early, go to my studio, and compose 2 songs before starting work. I wrote most songs using the Teenage Engineering OP-Z, pairing it with different gear every day to help with the creativity. But I also wrote a couple songs on my acoustic guitar, including a bossa-nova.

One my favorite things in the challenge is that we have a group of people who collaborate on songs using cassette 4-track recorders. Someone will start a song by recording something on track 1, and the tapes gets mailed to the next person, who adds something to track 2, and so on. The 4th person is responsible for mixing, mastering, and uploading the song.

You can listen to my songs on my Bandcamp page, and I've also included in this post one of the 4-track collaborations I did, "Neverending Sweetheart".