100 Songs Project - 15-20 May 2011

100 songs. 100 hours. 72 acts. 6 days. These are the bare statistics that only hint at the extraordinary project undertaken by the Independent Music Project at QUT's Gasworks Studios in May 2011.

Inspired by the success of the Q150 Big Jam, IMP's first event at Gasworks in 2009 in which bands jammed live around the clock for 150 hours in a world record attempt, and guided by IMP's ongoing research into digital music environments, we came up with an even bigger and crazier idea.

With the hope of shining a light on the current exciting state of Brisbane's music scene and uncovering new talent, and in developing new ways to make hay out of the digital environment, the IMP team brought together some of the city's best and brightest artists, to record 100 songs in just 100 hours. In an unprecedented musical experiment, songs were recorded, mixed, and mastered in four-hour sessions, then sent to Triple J and 4ZZZ for broadcast within hours of their completion.

From an astounding 431 applicants, the task of selecting the final acts began. Assisted by the Sounds Like Brisbane labels, we chose 72 acts to participate. They included familiar faces, highly respected, members of the Brisbane music scene, students, and relative unknowns, and represented a stylistic cross-section of Brisbane's world famous music scene. Each act was chosen solely on the quality of the songs they submitted.

The results are outstanding.

So far they include a 'top ten' 4ZZZ track, Whiteboard, penned by the brilliant Ben Salter, and many of the songs getting national airplay on Triple J. All week the studio corridors hummed and buzzed with the sounds of the people who came to Gasworks to be a part of the event: musicians, filmmakers, sound engineers, journalists, and friends. For all of us who were there, the atmosphere was magical, and there was a feeling that something great was happening.

It's almost a year after the event and we are still grappling with the immensity of what was accomplished, and with the many tasks associated with promoting it through every medium at our disposal.

What we do know for sure is we have a wealth of wonderful songs to share with the world. For this reason the project team has digitally released all 100 Songs in collaboration with our project partners MGM.

We then asked staff from MGM Distribution, Music Sales, and EMI Music Australia to listen to all 100 tracks and shortlist their favourites. We took these back into the studio for a quick polish. The result is compilation album Twelve: The Best of IMP’s 100 Songs Project due for release in very soon.


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