After completing the second week of this years 50/90 Song Challenge my tally is nine songs so far. I was kind of hoping to hit ten songs by this time but I’m still pretty happy with the pace I’m setting at the moment.

I wanted ten songs to be the magic number because to make this challenge seem a little easier to swallow, I decided that instead of looking at 50/90 as a 50 song marathon, I’ll be writing five albums of ten songs each.

Plus, by doing this I will also be able to release a five volume set of songs on BandCamp and that would be very cool indeed.

When it comes to taking a big goal and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals, I’m reminded of the old saying…

Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.

What I have also noticed this last week is how easily I’ve been able to slot in my songwriting and recording into my daily routine and this was one of my biggest fears coming into the challenge.

I’ve found that once I’ve set the goal(s) in place, planned ahead a bit and started building the momentum around it, my ability to manage my time had become sharper and more acute. All of a sudden I was able to clear little chunks of time for myself here and there and over time, these chunks added up to completed songs.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Right now, I’ll be trying for song number 10 and for the rest of this week… We’ll see how it goes.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Today (Tuesday, July 11th) marks the end of the first week of the 5090 Song Challenge and so far I’ve completed and uploaded five songs to the 50/90 site.

What has amazed me about this first week is that only one of the songs is a stripped back piano/voice composition and the rest are full arrangements. I suppose that’s an indication of the amount of time I’ve had to write and record these songs so far as I know that some weeks will be much tighter than others.

What I’ve also noticed since getting back into song challenge mode is that I’m more aware of what is going on inside my head and what is happening out in the real world. I’m becoming more open and sensitive to the next possible song idea, no matter where it may come from.

Who knew that a song challenge could have some pleasant side effects such as this.

If you want to hear what I’ve done so far you can go to my 5090 Song Challenge Profile Page and if you have an idea for a song I should tackle, then let me know as I need all the help I can get.

Now, I’m off to find my next song idea.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

I don’t know whether I’m a glutton for punishment or not but I’ll be participating in this years 50/90 Songwriting Challenge.

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, the 50/90 Songwriting Challenge (also known as 50/90) requires the participant to write 50 songs in 90 days starting from July 4th until October 31st.

50/90 has been likened to a marathon for songwriters and if I do the math, I would need to write one song every 1.8 days to complete the challenge in full.

I reckon I can do that. I am however going to approach 50/90 a little differently compared to the FAWM Songwriting Challenge I completed in February.

This time around, instead of doing complete band arrangements I’ll be stripping my songwriting creation process back to a more acoustic vibe to ensure that the songs don’t get bogged down in over-instrumentation.

The more limits I place on myself the more I’ll be able to write and besides, if time permits I can always go back to the songs and embellish them later on. It’s important that I make the song idea-recording-uploading process as efficient as possible.

50 songs in 90 days is a daunting task and I am going to have my work cut out for me but there’s nothing like a goal or a deadline to get my creative juices flowing.

I’ll be posting weekly updates on my progress just like I did with FAWM and by the end of it, I’ll have a new bunch of songs that I can release online through BandCamp. I might even need your help to choose the best ones.

Let’s not get too ahead of myself here, the task at hand is that I’ve got 6 days to prepare for 50/90 and once it starts there will be no stopping me from getting to my goal.

50/90 will be the ultimate test of songwriting endurance for me. Yes, it’s a challenge but it will also be a lot of fun too, as the 50/90 website clearly states…

“During these 90 days, participants will encourage each other, collaborate, give and gain feedback on their new creations and push themselves to practice and refine their skills in songwriting. Whether long time vets of songwriting or picking up the pen for the first time, participants will grow their skills in making music… and just might have some fun along the way.”

That’s what I intend to do… I’ll be putting all of my songwriting knowledge to good use and allowing my songwriting process to do its thing and who knows, there might even be some cracker songs written along the way.

Wish me luck guys,

Corey 🙂

I’ve had a few people ask me why I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging side of late. Was it because the FAWM Songwriting Challenge that I participated in recently just wiped me out?

No… I have been working away in the background with my good mate Geoffrey Stapleton in forming Stapleton Stewart Productions, a production company that provides recording, production and songwriting services specifically catering for songwriters, lyricists and solo music artists.

I was asked by Geoffrey to consider becoming involved in Stapleton Stewart Productions in around the middle of February and it’s taken all this time to get everything ready to launch.

We flicked the switch on Friday, May 18th, 2017.

Both Geoffrey and I have the amazingly good fortune to base Stapleton Stewart Productions out of Karisma Recording Studio in Collinswood which is run by a fellow songwriter/musician Ian Coats (it’s near the ABC building for all you guys in Adelaide).

Working out of a fully functional, purpose built, professional recording studio space has been a bit of a dream of mine for a while, and the more I stay away from live performance the more I’m realising that working in a studio environment is the way to go for me.

It’s like this is the next phase in my music career. I’m not sure where this is heading as yet but I’m enjoying the journey so far.

Right now Stapleton Stewart Productions has a website and a Facebook page but Geoffrey and I are keeping it simple at the moment just promoting the recording/production aspect of the business. In the coming months however, more services will be rolled out and I’ll make sure that you guys know about it.

I invite you to check out the Stapleton Stewart Productions website plus Facebook page and if you haven’t liked the Facebook page already, please do so.

If you have any other questions about Stapleton Stewart Productions or, you want to give us a go you can contact me through the Stapleton Stewart Productions website or from this site.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

After taking it easy through March to get over the post FAWM Songwriting Challenge hangover, I’ve put together an album of the songs written in the challenge and put it up on BandCamp for you to download, share and enjoy.

The songs are in the order that they were written and you’ll be hearing them warts and all as I haven’t touched them since I initially recorded and mixed them enough to be included in the challenge.

As a package, I’m very proud with what I had accomplished through February because writing 14 songs in 28 days is no mean feat but I want to put a shout out to Mick Standing with whom I collaborated with on two of the songs “Waiting For You” and “Is It Love.”

Enjoy FAWM2017 – The Album and if you like, shoot me through some feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Well, the FAWM Songwriting Challenge has now finished and I’ve managed to complete the challenge in full. I finished the 14 songs in 28 days and let me tell you, it was one of the most intense creative experiences of my life.

I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself at the moment and listening to the songs again, there’s a few there that I’m really proud of.

On reflecting over the past four weeks there have been a number of things I’ve learnt about myself and the songwriting process…

1. There’s nothing like a deadline/challenge to get the creative juices flowing
2. Letting go of perfection is a wonderful experience
3. Even grabbing a bit of time to write/record here and there is better than not writing at all
4. The time to write/record is NOW.
5. A good writing session is a cure for a lack of motivation
6. FAWM is a good way to decrease the Logic Pro X learning curve
7. There’s nothing like the sense of achievement to gain your confidence
8. Get your wife excited by the challenge too. Good support is crucial
9. Inspiration really does come to the ones who are working
10. I can do this… 🙂

Over time, I will gain many more insights from FAWM but now they are the lessons that I have swirling around in my head right now.

Below are the FAWM songs taken from my SoundCloud account. All songs were written by me except for #4 and #10 (M. Standing/C. Stewart).

Feel free to have a listen and let me know what you think.


#01 – Not Coming Home

#02 – Not Scared Anymore

#03 – With You In My Life

#04 – Waiting For You (M. Standing/C. Stewart)

#05 – I Wont Let You Down

#06 – One In A Million

#07 – Where Is The Love?

#08 – Movin’ On

#09 – My Kind Of Life (Instrumental)

#10 – Is It Love? (M. Standing/C. Stewart)

#11 – Wasted Time

#12 – How Does It Feel?

#13 – Love, Truth, Life

#14 – Blink Of An Eye


The fantastic thing about this whole experience is that even though FAWM 2017 has finished for another year I now have the momentum to keep on writing and I certainly have some new songs to perform now.

Thank you for tagging along my FAWM journey

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Tuesday, February 21st marked the end of the third week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge and my completed song tally so far is eight.

I do have an instrumental that’s almost finished and a couple of other half finished songs plus a collaboration in the pipeline however, the last couple of weeks has been a real struggle to find the time to finish and upload my songs.

The main reason for this time issue is that I made a pact with myself this FAWM to only upload songs that I have recorded and mixed through SongMachine, my home studio setup and having a song finished on paper is vastly different to a full studio arrangement.

It also requires a lot more time to sit in front of the computer and record/mix the song.

My first weeks output was the direct result of having more time on my hands than normal. I could sit down in front of my computer, flick the switch and start something from scratch and complete it in one sitting.

Lately I’ve been trying to make time by grabbing 30 minutes here and there and starting a few song ideas on the go to see what will stick.

What I’ve learnt in week three is to really pay attention to my studio workflow. I’ve also been experimenting with creating song templates in Logic Pro X which has the potential for making things a lot easier for me in the future.

I will get to my target of 14 songs, I just need to pull all of my song idea threads together and pull in some serious studio time. A FAWM 2017 online release is depending on it.

You can hear my latest songs on either my FAWM Profile Page or on SoundCloud.

Now to get stuck into some more songwriting.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Yesterday, besides being Valentine’s Day, also marked the halfway point (day 14 of 28) of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge.

After uploading five new songs in the first week I only managed to upload another two making my total of seven songs so far which is still keeping up with the one song every two days on average needed to complete the challenge in full.

I’m still confident I’ll complete the challenge as I’m becoming more and more comfortable with solo songwriting again especially the lyric writing component. FAWM has certainly given me the confidence to not be afraid of words anymore.

I always believe there’s something magical about a creative process where a songwriting idea coming from nowhere becomes a completed song and the time it takes to do that seems to disappear.

The main challenge I’m finding with doing FAWM so far, has been trying to grab those moments to write and record my songs the way I want to in-between a pretty demanding and unpredictable day gig however, my time management skills are getting better plus, it helps that the activity I’m trying to make time for (songwriting) is something I’m really passionate about.

You can find my FAWM songs either on the FAWM website or on my SoundCloud page.

Here’s to another week of kicking creativity in the butt and getting on with the task of writing some more songs.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

With the first week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge coming to an end and three more weeks to go I think I’ve done pretty well so far. I’ve uploaded five new songs and I’m pretty happy with how they have turned out.

As well as giving my songwriting process a good kick in the guts I’m also using the FAWM Songwriting Challenge as a way to get some more miles on the road when it comes to using my home studio setup so I’m treating every new song as a Logic Pro X learning experience.

I can really see what Brian Eno meant when he was talking about using the recording studio as “a compositional tool.”

Another thing that will come out of participating is the creation of a FAWM album which I’ll release on BandCamp as a “pay what you want” type of arrangement. I mean FAWM does stand for “February Album Writing Month” so I might as well have an album’s worth of songs by the end of February.

With the songs themselves, I’m creating them from one of two different approaches:

From Scratch – Grabbing the acoustic guitar or piano and noodling around until a songwriting idea pops up and demands my attention.

From Prerecorded Ideas – Trawling through my WIP (work in progress) folder and opening up each file until something grabs my attention.

Either way, I’m looking for something that stops me in my track and shouts “WRITE ME.”

If you go to my FAWM profile page http://fawm.org/fawmers/songwritingzen/ you’ll find all of the songs I’ve done so far. You don’t need to create a profile to listen to them. If you have any feedback feel free to contact me.

I must say, since I started the challenge this year I have regained a lot of confidence in my solo songwriting ability. I’m also finding that my inner critic is much kinder to me and the flow of ideas is coming to me much more readily, which is really nice.

I’ve given myself a break from writing today as I wanted to get this post written, but I’ll be back into FAWM mode tomorrow.

As Pablo Picasso once said… “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Peace,

Corey 🙂

I reckon, the best way to stimulate your songwriting process is to have some sort of goal, challenge or deadline to achieve and one of the best ways to do that is to tackle the FAWM Songwriting Challenge which is kicking off tomorrow, February 1st.

FAWM stands for February Album Writing Month and the concept of this songwriting challenge is very, very simple…

Write 14 songs in 28 days.

You can either do the challenge by yourself or, you can collaborate with the hoards of other songwriters that you can connect with through the website.

I’ll be tackling FAWM again this year.

For me, FAWM is a great opportunity to put all of my songwriting ideas, knowledge, techniques and processes into action. It’s also a fantastic exercise in chasing down inspiration through doing the work rather than waiting for inspiration to knock at your door by doing nothing.

Now, in the past (I’ve participated since 2008) I’ve found FAWM a very difficult challenge to complete but this time I reckon I have everything set up to take FAWM head on.

My home recording studio is ready, my collaborators are ready and my songwriting process is ready to tackle the extra workload needed complete the tasks at hand.

I’ll also be blogging about my progress and uploading the songs I create for FAWM so watch this space.

Peace,

Corey 🙂