2010 was an interesting year for me. I’ve written some songs I’m proud of, helped with some great collaborative projects, and learned a lot about how to write better songs.
1. Spinning the Compass.
In January I released my first solo album, Spinning the Compass. 9 Songs (more if you download it and join the mailing list) that reflect where my songwriting was by the beginning of 2010.
The album has gained some positive reviews, been downloaded several hundred times (not thousands yet, breaking the 1000 mark for my tomslatter.co.uk mailing list is my next big goal) and I’m really pleased with it.
My songwriting aim is to reach a balance between catchiness and interesting musicality -I’m both a sucker for a catchy chorus and a music theory nerd – and I think I manage that with Spinning the Compass
2. 10 Tips for Songwriters.
Early in the year I edited a book of tips by lots of other songwriters which you can download free. – Later this year I’ll start work on an expanded second edition. Click here for the PDF
3. The Big Calm.
This was a collaborative composition project I took part in with Cafe Noodle. Each participant composed a piece of music to the given title, at the same bpm and in the same key. I then combined them into one 40 minute composition.
4. The Name Change
Songwright.co.uk became Indiesongwriter.net. I did this for two reasons.
First, I found songwright a bit difficult when speaking to people. If you have to keep on stopping to spell out the name of your website, it’s probably not as effective as it could be.
Secondly, the kind of songwriting I’m writing for is better reflected by the term ‘indie’. The current state of the music industry means that large companies are dying and indie musicians are on the rise.
It’s that kind of songwriter I’m writing for – the songwriter who can think of their music as art, who can write for a niche, who doesn’t need to worry about the constraints of writing music for the mass market. That’s who this site has always been for, and hopefully indiesongwriter.net reflects that.
5. Songwriting Strategies Podcast.
My latest project, which I hope to turn into a collaborative effort, is the Songwriting Strategies Podcast.
The idea is simple – every week you hear a different songwriting sharing a different songwriting idea. Something short that anyone can apply to their own songwriting.
So far, two other songwriters have made contributions and I’ve recorded a total of 5 episodes. This project has stalled somewhat because I’ve just moved house and haven’t had a broadband connection installed yet (not back to full speed until late January. Yes, that’s the best UK companies can do).
It shall rise again! I’ve some ideas of my own for future episodes, but if anyone else wants to contribute, drop me an email at tomslattermusic AT gmail.com
2010 has been a good year for me, but I’m looking forward to 2011 even more.
What does the future hold?
More of the same of course, but also new and exciting things, including the first product from indiesongwriter.net that will be available for purchase rather than free.
(A product? Yes, there will be a commerical aspect to the site in 2011, but don’t worry the character of the site isn’t going to change at all – the blog, podcast and free ebooks won’t go anywhere.)
See you next year!