"One of my mottoes is that if you want to get unusual results, work fast and work cheap, because there's more of a chance that you'll get somewhere that nobody else did." -- Brian Eno
"Hurry up Harry, come on!" -- Sham 69
"Volume II: Summer Music" is the second album by 29 Hour Music People, a group of creatively restless New Yorkers whose mission is to write and record complete albums from scratch in a weekend.
The loose collective of 12 people, who have logged time in a wide variety of bands, collectively brainstorms lyrics on Friday, writes and records music on Saturday, sings direct to tape, no AutoTune, on Sunday, and returns to normal life with their other bands on Monday, before anyone notices they have been missing.
"Volume II: SUMMER MUSIC" arrives just four months after "Volume I: SOFT ENO BLESSING," whose collaborative creation in a span of 29 hours (not including sleep and meals) gave the group its name. This time, it took 31 hours to make an album happen, but it contains one more song than its predecessor, so the group decided to call it even.
All proceeds from sales of the album, to be released July 16, will go to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which pays the medical bills of working musicians. The album will be available as a "pay what you want" download from Bandcamp (29hourmusicpeople.bandcamp.com
"Contemporary records are way too over-thought," says bandleader Rob Christiansen. "A creative project made quickly isn't just AS GOOD as most records; it's often BETTER than most records."
29 Hour Music People operates under a charter that governs the speed and process of recording, from passing lyrics around on notepads and iPads on Friday evening to singing harmonies through a single microphone on Sunday.
The group begins each weekend with a theme; this time the goal was to make "summer music," with each player free to decide what that means. The songs that resulted range from a woman's search for love amid the "Coney Island Trash," to a percussive meditation on the dreaded "Summer Cold," to a shambling rock report on the life and preferences of a grumpy crustacean.
Christiansen, a musician and producer whose bands have included Eggs, Grenadine and Here Come the Warm Jets LIVE, recorded "VOLUME II" with Alan Black, Alan Blattberg, Kate Edmundson, Matty Karas, Cheri Leone, Chris McBurney, Dave Satkowski and Meave Shelton and Pam Weis. Their bands and day jobs include the Trouble Dolls, Lightning Kites, Maracatu New York, Team Spider and The touring production of "Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles."
According to Christiansen, "The collaborations and juxtapositions made possible by this group of players from all disciplines is such a welcome surprise. We are playing over each other's traditions in ways that you wouldn't plan -- these things have to happen by accident."
Ever restless and ever expanding, a slightly larger group of 29 Hour Music People gathered in New York in July, 2013 to write and record "Volume III," whose theme will be "transportation."
"Volume IV" can't be far behind.
©+℗ 2013, 29 Hour Music People