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Blog 3: The Twenty Minute Challenge

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

I have finally completed my Seven Pieces project, continuing the method of combining acoustic recording with electronic enhancing. I found this method lived up to expectations and led me towards reaching the finished product. You can find the full album via this link.

The sheet music will also be available at a later date.

In previous blogs, I talked of ways I have been overcoming writer's block, primarily by responding to the sounds around me and imagining how they could fit into musical contexts, whether it was by recording a specific sound or replicating the sound with a musical instrument. Regularly exercising this method has led to a library of ideas and sketches.

Music creation and ideas have a habit of coming in waves. One day I can be inspired and another completely stuck for ideas. Part of this for me is rooted in the fact that I have a thought process that only the very best ideas are worth pursuing. This has been my next stumbling block, which has filled me with the urge to address it.

I have considered a different approach - instead of suppressing passing ideas, I now allocate a daily 20-minute session to create, jam and compose in order to provide a space for them to gel. The time limit provides me with a quick daily workout. It is gratifying to know there is always going to be an end product to reward my efforts. The key seems to be to embrace any ideas, and allow them to run.

Day 1: My first 20 minute challenge was created on 12th October. I fulfilled the challenge of creating a work in the time limit.

Day 2: I was beginning to wonder if I could sustain this daily challenge, but I was determined to go on. I gave it another go and found the 20 minute time limit was yielding results.

Day 3: I decided my ultimate goal was to sustain this exercise for 100 days. No more suppressing passing ideas. Find 20 minutes every day no matter what. All ideas welcome – that’s my new motto.

Day 4: A fourth day in a row with something concrete to show for it. I was exploring a variety of instruments and sound combinations and enjoying a blank canvass each day.

Day 5-8: The following four days yielded something new each day, furnishing me with eight pieces to date. These and future tracks will be available soon from the shop.

Video: Twenty Minute Challenge - First Pieces (examples)

(Updated 19/11/20 and 30/11/20)

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