The Commuter Challenge

2 June 2015

The June 2015 Challenge

by CC @ 20:08

Write the lyrics for one big number for a musical theater production. The theme of the musical should be something that has not been turned into a musical before (or at least not done before to the best of your knowledge), like “The Walking Dead The Musical”, or “Paul Blart the Musical”, or “What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating-Point Arithmetic the Musical”.

For extra credit, do anything extra related to the fake musical. Examples: write lyrics to more than one song for the musical, write music for the song and/or record a version of your song, or make title art or a fake Playbill for the musical.


2 May 2015

The May 2015 Challenge

by CC @ 00:02

Create a work in four parts, one for each of the four seasons. The sequence can be four stanzas in a poem, four quarters of a drawing, four verses in a song, or whatever strikes your muse. If you decide you need more room to stretch, then you could instead create a sequence of four separate works, like four violin concerti. I hear that’s been done, though.


3 April 2015

The April 2015 Challenge

by CC @ 11:29

Pick a painting, drawing, photo, poem, story, novel, song, film/video, or anything else that is in the public domain. If it is a poem, story, novel, or song, create one or more illustrations (or photo, or video) for it. If it is an image or film/video, write a poem, short story or song for which that image will be the illustration.


2 March 2015

The March 2015 Challenge

by CC @ 15:47

Compose and perform an original song in the style of the blues, gospel, or field holler. There are no restrictions on the matter of the lyrics, and in fact you are encouraged to explore beyond the normal range of subjects. The recorded song should be at least two minutes in length.


2 December 2014

The December 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 05:06

This month is the final phase of the Long Form Challenge. The specific goals for each participant are:

  • Tyler Zahnke: Complete a final draft of the novel.
  • Ryan Finholm: Complete four songs plus cover art.
  • Brian Raiter: Complete beta version of the program.

3 November 2014

The November 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 12:19

This month is the second phase of the Long Form Challenge. The specific goals for each participant are:

  • Tyler Zahnke: Have a finished draft of the novel completed.
  • Ryan Finholm: Submit new demo versions of two songs.
  • Brian Raiter: Submit an early-beta of the program.

1 October 2014

The October 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 11:30

This month is the first phase of the Long Form Challenge. The specific goals for each participant are:

  • Tyler Zahnke: Have a draft of the novel completed.
  • Ryan Finholm: Submit demo versions of two songs.
  • Brian Raiter: Write a design document for the program.


2 September 2014

The September 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 11:49

For the rest of 2014 the Commuter Challenge is breaking away from its usual format in hopes of inspiring more grandiose projects with our first Long Form Challenge.

Use September to decide upon a personal creative project that would take 3 months to complete, and plan it out logistically. At the end of September, submit a schedule of deadlines and requirements, with concrete goals that must be completed by the end of each month (October, November and December). This schedule then defines your October and November Commuter Challenges as the work towards completing the overall challenge by the end of December.

This Long Form Challenge was conceived with the thought that it could drive us to tackle more ambitious projects which might be too difficult to achieve in a single month, so think big, and pick something you’ve been thinking you might want to do if you had the time and motivation.


2 August 2014

The August 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 01:32

Our challenge for August is to compose a simple 12-line poem. The poem must consist of three stanzas, with each stanza having four lines of iambic pentameter, and each stanza having a rhyme scheme of ABCB.

Did we say simple? That was a bit of ironic understatement, of course. Because the exact same poem must also be a 20-line poem written in iambic trimeter, just by changing the line breaks appropriately. When read in iambic trimeter, the poem will have five stanzas of four lines each, with again each stanza having a rhyme scheme of ABCB. (In a couple of places one of the trimeter’s rhyme words will actually coincide with a pentameter’s rhyme word, but more often they will just be interleaved.)

There are no requirements as to the subject matter.


1 July 2014

The July 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 23:34

The July 2014 Commuter Challenge is to make an original historical cartoon in the spirit of Kate Beaton or Larry Gonick. The cartoon may be as long or as short as you like – a one-panel cartoon would be fine, as would an entire graphic novel. The cartoon must include at least one famous historical figure and refer to event(s) and/or trait(s) associated with that person. A well-drawn cartoon is not necessary; stick figures or clip art would be acceptable. No amount of historical accuracy is required.


1 June 2014

The June 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 22:55

Compose a piece of music without using musical instruments. The sounds can come from any object that is not built for the purpose of making music. Feel free to use samples of sounds made by other people, as long as they aren’t samples of people performing music (or, at the very least, not intending to perform music).

Objects which are not nominally music instruments but have become standard items in musical performance (e.g. the brake drum) should be avoided.

Singing, chanting, rapping, sprechstimme, etc are all off-limits. Other uses of the human voice, however, are permissible, as long as they are not musical per se.


3 May 2014

The May 2014 Challenge

by CC @ 20:19

Create an image or sculpture related to one of your favorite songs. You may use any medium. If you’re a big Holst fan, your entry can be seven circles drawn on a piece of paper. Or you can paint an abstract impression of whatever you believe “Louie Louie” is about. Or you can build a stairway to heaven out of popsicle sticks.


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