So on April 25, 2011, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Ben Folds and Damian Kulash, the drummer for OKGo, decided to try to write and record an entire album, that is 8 songs, in 8 hours. And they webcast the entire process.
The result, 6 songs in 12 hours, is their EP Nighty Night. Which is available on Bandcamp for 1 bloody dollar. AND, it’s pretty damn good. (In answer to the question What did Neil do?, he wrote most of the lyrics and he even sings on the final track. I swear if i told you it was Alan Rickman (villain from the 1st Die Hard) you would believe me.)
They did it as a benefit for the Berkeley College of Music and all proceeds from the first week went to benefit Berklee City Music, which provides free music education to underserved teens.
“Prior to the event, the band was asked about their plans and why exactly they agreed to try and do such a thing…
Damian Kulash: “Can the album cycle actually be reduced to a single day? If the recording industry is supposed to be a means of connecting musicians to music listeners, well, then, here it is – spontaneous and circular. They send us ideas and a day later we have an album, a show, and some semblance of a documentary. And then the next day (we hope), a big public flameout and a battle over rights and the release of competing slanderous autobiographies.”
Amanda Palmer: “The four of us are creative internet addicts with our own huge Twitter circles. This project is exciting as it will give us the opportunity to collide our circles. I think the Rethink Music conference is going to be a groundbreaking event, and I’m hoping to engage in a dialogue about things that are very close to my heart, namely the importance of audiences and artists creating a new society of patronage and virtual busking.”
Neil Gaiman: “I’m excited and nervous both because there is so much room for things to go wrong, and because it shows people how art is actually made. Or would actually be made if you locked three songwriter performers and an author in a box for a day and forced them to collaborate with Twitter to craft and record songs. When I write it down and look at it, it looks even more unlikely than it did in my head.”
Ben Folds: “Digital technology allows singers who can’t sing and musicians who look better than they play to sing and play in tune and in time. At the same time, it empowers the musician to distribute music without a middle man and directly to an audience within moments of its creation. It even allows two-way communication during the process so that the audience might collaborate to some extent or be present in some way – like live music.”