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Previous Years: 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016

Entry 2021.0002 — WINNER
KC2
InCoAlMo 2021
DWG, NJ

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Original Concept:

"Shur"

an album comprised of remixed motifs from the extensive back catalogue of the band Rush

Artist Post-Game:

After years of learning and stretching and pushing, I’ve done it - a 40 min concept album in a month! There were times when I didn’t think I was gonna make it, times I thought about quitting. But I kept going on the faith that if I just kept at it then it would eventually shape into something decent. I’m very happy with how it turned out. :)
Entry 2021.0003 — WINNER
Jim Eddy - Forward In All Directions!
Too Many Records!
Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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Original Concept:

A salute to several records that changed my life and how I think about living.

Artist Post-Game:

I enjoyed this album challenge.  It was the first time I forced myself to (1) think about recording an entire collection of music in album format, and (2) posting it to Bandcamp for others to check out.  It is highly unlikely I would have pushed this project through to completion in the absence of the InCoAlMo challenge.  My skills in both music performance and recording are quite primitive, and I scratched the surface of what GarageBand can do in creating this album project.  I'll likely participate again, because the challenge forces me to concentrate time and attention on these things that otherwise I appear to lack the self-discipline to engage with left to my own slovenly devices.
Entry 2021.0007 — WINNER
Brian Lillie
The Clockmaker's House
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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Original Concept:

"Maps to the House"

Going to try my hand at a song cycle inspired by ideas in Gestalt psychology. Musically, I'm hoping for a "mixtape" vibe, where songs will flow into each other, and to play lots of guitar!

Artist Post-Game:

This was a total blast! The only way to pull it off was to be less precious and perfection-oriented, and also to think more holistically about the whole piece as I was working on individual songs. Thus, the themes morphed and I just went with it. Full disclosure: I went in with "Red Skies At Night", "Sailor's Delight", and "99 Feet" already recorded.
Entry 2021.0008 — WINNER
Joseph Mancuso
6 2x4s: An InCoAlMo Retrospective
New Jersey, USA

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Original Concept:

For a few different reasons, i've decided this year to do a spoken-word retrospective sharing thoughts on the five InCoAlMo challenges that i've completed to date -- a "rockumentary podcast album", perhaps?  The plan is to record six pairs of 4-minute tracks.  For five of them, each pair will discuss the production of a previous year's challenge, with one track describing the album overall and another focusing on a selected piece from that album.  The last pair will be dedicated to the InCoAlMo concept itself, serving as sort of an "intro" and "conclusion" to the record.  There may be one or more uncounted bonus tracks, as well.  My hope is to deliberately avoid talking about things already covered in the "liner notes", so as to provide new insights into how the records were made, and what i've learned over the past 5 years.

Artist Post-Game:

This year's InCoAlMo record was actually pretty straightforward, which i guess isn't surprising given what it was.  The concept and process were both very straightforward, and the album execution pretty much went as expected.  The only real delay to final release was getting around to mastering the record, which also included selecting and prepping some "bonus tracks" which are included in the Bandcamp download (which is available at no cost).
That said, writing and recording this album was actually a little bit of a surprise in how much i enjoyed re-examining these past projects.  By the time i was done, some themes had surfaced that bore out how these InCoAlMo albums had progressed over time, leveraging some lessons learned along the way, but also remaining subject to both new and ongoing challenges imposed by the aggressive deadline.  In the end, while this retrospective may not prove terribly interesting to the average music listener, i think it might provide some neat insights to fellow InCoAlMo artists and/or to the rare hardcore fan of my own work who's actually listened to all these crazy records over the years.
One thing i can say is that taking this little retrospective journey has definitely gotten me looking forward to next year's challenge and to finding out what new experiences await!
Entry 2021.0012 — WINNER
Fear of Blushing
Goodnight, Dear Void
Astoria, NY

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Original Concept:

So far: indie rock with slowcore tendencies. Looking up at the stars on a warm, clear summer night.

Our fifth made-in-March album as Fear of Blushing!

Entry 2021.0009 — PARTIAL
JY
The Rule of Zero Hero
A cramped little guest room home studio

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Original Concept:

This album will not have a cohesive theme.  It will not be 40 minutes.  It will have too many covers.  I will unapologetically use material previously recorded as well as ideas and songs that were originally conceived long ago.  It will be an album that should be disqualified before you even give it a chance.

Artist Post-Game:

This challenge was well-timed and very motivating.  My gear is made-up of stuff from 20+ years ago that had been collecting dust AND a new laptop/AI/DAW that I had just purchased about 2 months prior.

My goal was to have fun and try to finish some ideas that had been bouncing around in my head along with figuring out how to use my new toys productively.

The whole Animals thing was inspired by the haunting acoustic and melodic solos of Dogs, the groovy bass of Pigs and the rockin outro of Sheep.  I wanted to capture the sound and feel of one of my favorite albums (a concept album) and that ended turning into a little obsession that left little time to work on original stuff... but it was fun and I blew my own mind a little.  I learned so much about working in my new DAW!

As for the other four songs, those are ideas that have been in my head a while, but never put together.  I really cannot sing or write decent lyrics, so my motivation was getting my musical ideas into a format where I might try to collaborate with a lyricist/singer or maybe other musicians.  I cut all the songs down to a point where my ideas were complete and shareable, but hopefully not too redundant (but easy to edit for multiple verses/choruses/etc in the future).

Also gotta mention the INCOALMO organizers are enthusiastic and helpful.  The rest of the INCOALMO community members were supportive and interesting.  I love the approach everyone took and the vibe that we were all challenging ourselves rather than competing with each other.  It was a lot of fun and I definitely have some unfinished business so I am looking forward to next March!

Entry 2021.0001
My Four Fastest
"Bounce"
Lexington, KY

Original Concept:

shoegazer nerdpop
Entry 2021.0004
Ezechiel's Eye
"YOUR HONOR YOUR WITNESS"
Hovering Over Italy

Original Concept:

These are reflections and ruminations about an evidently unsolved murder case.. I say 'evidently' unsolved since the woman and accomplice who were found guilty and convicted twice, somehow managed to walk free.
Entry 2021.0005
Emma Grace
"Craves of Pegasus"
Umbria, Italy

Original Concept:

Music for still pictures
Entry 2021.0006
Jim Novak
The "Johnny Appleseed" One-Man Show
Ann Arbor, MI

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Original Concept:

I have a set of 8 songs that come from my take on the folklore figure known for planting trees and wandering the American Midwest in the early 1800s. I'd like to use INCOALMO  to create a story arc and write a narrative linking the songs in a stage setting (as a one-man show). The concept album will consist of the songs and the spoken-word narrative.

Artist Post-Game:

Incoalmo was a big help.  It had a notable impact on an otherwise slovenly work ethic.  Even though I knew the one-month deadline wasn’t a deadline with any real consequences.  Even though I was unknown to 90% of the participants and their judgment was not a concrete reason to pick up my pace and get my work done.  And even though I hadn’t ever cared to tackle a musical project of this size and scope.  Despite all that, Incoalmo helped me get “something” out there, on Bandcamp — a bunch of work that surprised me, and that I felt good about.
Entry 2021.0010
Paul Collins
Timespace
Mount Pleasant MI

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Original Concept:

"Soundscapes"

Multilayered sonic environments, some probably musical, others maybe not so much.

Artist Post-Game:

I included a pretty exhaustive writeup on the website with the music, so I encourage you to take a look at that there. From the challenge point of view, here are my results of the 'rules':

The Rule of 40

Yup- I missed this one. My album runs about 34 minutes, which is 40 if you round up to the nearest 40. At this writing, I have a couple days left in the challenge, and could conceivably add a couple tracks to get closer, but I'm really happy with the flow right now, and don't want to mess with it more.

The Rule of 30

Exactly 0% of this album was 'written' before March 1, so I think I can confidently say that I hit this benchmark. I set down the first track in Audition on March 1, 2021

The Rule of 20

The math is hard here. Portions of "Time", "Move", and "Water" were recorded last March when I was going to take my first stab at this challenge. Then everything closed, and we all had to rewrite how our entire lives were organized, and I stopped. The pre-recorded material landed in the final compositions as overlaid tracks, and I have no idea how to put a percentage on that. I'm going to declare that I think I met the spirit of this rule.

The Rule of 10

Again, I'm not sure how to quantify this. Many of the samples that I used existed in some form elsewhere: BBC's Sound Effects Library was immensely valuable to the project, and as soon as the Mars Rover sent back actual sound from the 4th planet, I knew I wanted to use it. That being said, I electronically manipulated almost everything, and remixed the existing sounds into an original composition, so I'm declaring the Rule of 10 a success as well.

The Rule of 0

This is my favorite rule. Thank you, Joe, for putting together this challenge. I would not have made this record without it.

Entry 2021.0011
Jeff Rogers
"Memories of a Red Planet"
El Granada, CA

Original Concept:

This may well be my least well-thought-out concept to date.  It's a tribute to human exploration of Mars, especially the several robotic rovers that call it their forever home.

Yes, of course I'm going to try and work in that sound clip.

Previous Years: 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016