Called 8in8 – as its initial aim was to create eight songs in as many hours – the project ultimately saw OK Go’s Damian Kulash, comic writer Neil Gaiman & singer/songwriters Amanda Palmer and Ben Folds creating six songs in 12 hours. Which is no mean feat! Still, the 8in8 moniker stuck as the project’s name.
Upon emerging from the studio, the artists gave the above conference session at Rethink Music 2011; and their direct-to-fan-sold tracks – which you can listen to and buy here – raised over $20,000 in just 48 hours.
Better still, the ensuing tour Gaiman and Palmer embarked on together at the end of last year raised $133,341 on Kickstarter, making it the crowdsourcing platform’s second most-funded music project ever.
But as Palmer told us back in June of last year, money was naturally the last thing on these artist’s minds before setting out on the 8in8 adventure. “We wanted to do something much less BORING than just speaking on a panel,” said Palmer, “and we figured that since we were four great artists all gathering at the same point in time, we should simply create something for the sake of creating… as well as shining a light on how fast and easy it is to distribute music nowadays.”
And that they did, as the projects rapid sales success proved: yet Palmer said she and her fellow artists were “very happy, but not surprised” with the result. If anything because each artists’ fans were keenly involved from the get-go: they provided creative input for songs via Twitter, whilst the songs were being made; and then once the songs were done, they created fan-made videos like the one below. For Palmer, “that’s one of the high points of the internet for me: watching the quick proliferation of art.”
So judging by the success of this D2F experiment, could one conclude that labels aren’t necessary? No, says Palmer: rather “that ANYTHING is possible. And that music does not have to be agonising and precious.” Hear hear!
For Rethink Music’s Allen Bargfrede, “8in8 shows that the recording and release of an album (or songs, or any creative works) do not necessarily have to be tied to any specific schedule anymore. With distribution roadblocks out of the way, creators can create and disseminate their content whenever they’d like.
“It also showed how artists can further engage their fans in an interactive dialogue about creativity. Taking Twitter feedback for new material raises the concept of building a fan connection to an even higher level.”