Will we reach FAWM Escape Velocity?
@ductapeguy Feb 15
Every year, toward the end of February, the question arises: Will we reach FAWM Escape velocity. @burrsettles describes Escape Velocity as:
" If there are 28×24×60 = 40,320 minutes in February, and the average song is 3.5 minutes long, then after 11,520 songs we will have created more music than is actually possible to listen to in the month of February… and that’s assuming you listen non-stop! This seems to be a metaphysical barrier we just can’t penetrate. (Credit goes to fawmer Tim Wille for coining the term.)" https://slackprop.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/an-analysis-of-fawm-2017/
We did reach escape velocity once, in 2018.
Today, February 15 at approximately the halfway point, we have posted 7095 songs. If we continue at this pace, we would have about 14000 songs by the end of February. From experience I know the rate of songs posted slows down a touch in the second half of the month then reaches a fever pitch in the last couple days and hours of FAWM.
So... What are your predictions? Will we reach FAWM escape velocity? When will we reach it? What is your prediction for our final total.
I'll start. I think we will make it this year around evening time EST on February 26. I think the site will close with 12781 songs for a record.
Your turn... record your prognostication for further reference on February 28.
@kirjis Feb 21
Yes we will, with 13002 songs.
@erikleppen Feb 21
Is the average song indeed 3.5 minutes long? Has this ever been measured? (would that even be possible?) If not, why use the 3.5 number?
The FAQ advises 3 minutes per song if I remember correctly, so I try to keep the length at or slightly below that on average. With 3 minutes per song, it's 20 per hour, so 480 per day, so 13440 songs. Which is lot harder to reach.
Anyhow, if there's ever a year where it should be possible to reach escape velocity, it's this year. I'm sure we will reach 11520 and beyond - it's already above 9500 so only 2000 to go. Peanuts 😉.
I have no idea how large the final surge will be, but let's do the guessing game... I say 12512.
@mhorning Feb 22
I took the 13 I have written so far, threw the run-times into Excel. Longest was 5:22, shortest 2:16. Average 3:16. Median 3:11
I normally write closer to 5 minuets. I have been trying to write tighter though, ditching extraneous choruses, shorter bridge instead of a chorus etc.
I say we get there on the 26th. Final tally, 12,632.
@cblack Feb 22
27th. And the total will be 12345. 😀
@andygetch Feb 22
I'm not the prognosticating kind, however there are 9763 total songs posted as of midnight at the international date line/7am EST Feb 22nd.
@standup Feb 22
If I do the math (which, as an elementary teacher pointed out, is “not my strong suit”) we should end up around 13,000 songs. I’m doing my part!
@mikeskliar Feb 25
giving this thread a bump-- we are now at 10,790. --only 730 songs to go! While alot of folks have slowed down, there's still a steady amount of songs, and some folks post alot of songs at the end too.
@andygetch Feb 26
Bumping at 11,253. Just a few hundred to go.......
@tcelliott Feb 26
Yeah, it's looking good but I'll say no just so I won't jinx it.
@elesimo Feb 26
250 to go! Let's do it!
@cts Feb 26
....and now I find it AFTER I posted elsewhere. D'oh!
@rshakesp Feb 26
But only 9700 or so of those have recorded demos - that will impact the average no?
@leka Feb 26
3,5 minutes? That is like progressive rock or something. Under two minutes is good. Close to one is great.
@headfirstonly Feb 26
The suggestion that the ideal song length should be "close to one minute" makes me very sad, because I believe that it's a symptom of what little value is assigned to music these days. It's become something disposable, to be skimmed through and discarded; something not worthy of focused attention.
And I say this because the length of time that people seem to be prepared to devote to listening to a single song is plummeting - apparently driven by people's listening habits on Spotify. A couple of years ago the average track length of songs in the Billboard top 100 was three and a half minutes. And that was twenty seconds shorter than the average value five years previously.
@celineellis Feb 26
@headfirstonly and in the 50's song length barely got above 3 minutes - its evolution of music. this link is from 2011 but you can see the trends. in fact even though song length increased, lots of singles were released as Radio Edits to bring them back t the 3 minute mark.
@yam655 Feb 26
@headfirstonly One of my quirks is that I mentally think of all commercially licensed music as ephemeral. It doesn't matter if it is a modern classical piece, prog rock, or rap cranked out of a college kid's car as they drive by. It's all the same.
It turns out, you can't have eternal copyright while still pushing new artists without cannibalizing your own market. Are you selling old music? New music? No. You're just selling more-more-more music and that's it. The details don't matter. Just buy more.
The value of music has been distorted from the top-down. The people in the streets are treating music as it is sold to them. There's just too much music available to listen to any one song or artist for very long.
@jmadison Feb 26
@headfirstonly You touched on a topic that I think of a lot. I find that it's hard for me to actually listen to music because I actually want to focus on it and listen. I rarely can just "turn on" music and let it play while I go do other things. The effect is that even though I -do- music myself, I rarely listen to music. Weird.
I've also noticed that whenever I'm with friends listening to a new track (mine or anybody else's) whenever there's an instrumental break in the song, the non-musicians immediately start talking over the music while the musicians try to continue listening. It's like the non-lyric parts of the song are less important "background" to them.
edit: I just realized that I took this totally off topic from the FAWM Escape Velocity. Apologies. Now... back to your regularly scheduled content.
@ericdistad Feb 26
As of this writing, 48 songs to go! We've already busted the previous FAWM records for song count!
Y'all are awesome!
@mikeskliar Feb 26
nice! question tho- it was mentioned on this thread that we reached fawm escape velocity in 2018. What was the song count that year? I'd like to know not just when we reach fawm escape velocity, but when (hopefully when and not if) we get the record for 'most fawm songs ever', beating 2018's record...
@ustaknow Feb 26
I have a progressive blues jam that's 40,321 minutes long, - want to hear it?
@davidbreslin101 Feb 26
11516. Soooooooo clooooooooose.....
@davidbreslin101 Feb 26
@headfirstonly - I seem to have ended up with the exact opposite listening habits to everyone else. Normally all I listen to is CDs, and I listen to the same few over and over again for weeks. Yet the result is the same- I find it hard to pay new music the attention it deserves!
@elesimo Feb 26
We did it!
@ductapeguy Feb 26
... Escape velocity, and a full 5 hours before I predicted it.
@candle Feb 26
11,526 & still a few days to go.
I'd be interested to see the actual median FAWM song time, though it would be very hard to calculate. I think I would have pushed it up a bit, since I've done about 3 songs in the 22+ minute range & a couple around the 15 minute mark. Still way to go FAWMers! Escape Velocity achieved!
See You In The Shadows…
@heuristicsinc Mar 1
Well, many songs are lyrics-only and are therefore of no length, right? So we can't really literally count. Plus the different ways songs are hosted make it really tough for anybody to get a full count.
@jmadison Mar 1
Honest question: In 2018, I remember there being a lot of placeholders submitted near the end when we were approaching escape velocity. Are those counted in the song total? I guess I'm wondering if how much placeholders affect the number of songs actually written in Feb.
@ericdistad Mar 1
Placeholders are counted. Escape Velocity is about the theoretical amount of time it would take to listen to new creations, regardless of what state they're in.
The "final" song count is usually figured out a couple days after FAWM closes to let some of those placeholders get figured out. The count tends to decrease by a few after FAWM closes.
With placeholders, locked songs and so on we came close several years, but 2021 is the first year we have convincingly smashed through the theoretical 11520 song barrier.
@abolishumanity Mar 1
Our full set of 14 songs clocked in at a little under 14 minutes, so we're definitely not carrying our weight in practical escape velocity timing. Happy to be on the team though!
@psyt Mar 1
Well, my 14 songs this month amount to an hour and 46 minutes of music, at an average length of 7:49 per song (shortest has been 5:30, longest 9:28), for whatever that's worth. 😝
@yam655 Mar 1
@siebass I figure FAWM is sort of all about inspiring each other with crazy musical feats. 😀
The unfortunate side-effect for me, though, is that I can get crazier ideas and think, "this is totally achievable."
In January I was seriously considering aiming for 1,000 songs in February. (It would maybe take ~2 hours a day.)
Instead, I took a week off and still hit 70+... the last ~14 while trying to convince myself _not_ to sing 100 new songs over the last weekend. (Because that's also doable. It would be about 3 hours each day.)
@dreamscuba Mar 2
@ductapeguy and all, thanks for the stats...I had been wondering about this as there looked like a fever pitch with songs being published this year...and we did achieve escape velocity! Nice. I didn't realise we only did it once before.
@jmadison and @headfirstonly I hear you with listening to music. My older brother, who was one of the hippies back in the day, got me and my sister into listening to music... He would put a record on and we would sit and listen. He would sometimes play Tubular Bells for us and get us to walk around the living room listening to it pretending we were ents. We didn't know what an ent was as we were so little and hadn't read The book. But it was fun.
I sometimes feel with some of the popular music today, there is no space... the singers give the song no space to breathe. They constantly sing with no pause, no timing...but hey, each to their own...
I love FAWM and the collective creativity here....
@audrey Mar 2
Yay! We did it. Yay FAWM!