In the Loop

Scratching out a Song

Posted at 11:35 AM on August 16, 2007 by Sanden Totten

While In The Loop relaxes a bit over the summer, I've gotten myself mixed up with a project that has taken off like mad.

It's called Songs from Scratch and it works like this:

We got a poet named Stephen Burt to write a set of lyrics. He titled it "Afternoon Song."

We gave three local bands two weeks to turn those lyrics into a song. We recorded the bands as they scribbled, strummed and sang until they found their take on "Afternoon Song".

To finish it off, we posted the very same lyrics at and encouraged all and any musicians to take a crack at writing their own version of the tune. The response has been amazing. Check out the different versions here. There are like 30 songs up there! And seriously, they all sound different. In fact, our own Jeff Horwich even contributed on of the more, um . . . "unique" songs. It's actually pretty funny and you can hear all about it by listening to this week's LoopCast. Click here and it will start playing in your browser.

Anyway, check it out.

And now, for some out-takes from there series, here are some of the names we considered but didn't use for the project:

Make That Song
Here's Where the Verse Goes!
Banging Out a Tune
Pen To Playlist
Song Writing -- In Five Acts
Couplet to Chorus
Word Turn
Song-Making Study

and the title we almost went with (and our unofficial code name for the whole affair):


So ahoy ye tunesmithers! Check out Songs from Scratch. It's not too late to submit your own version of Afternoon Song.

August 2007
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