is an organization
for songwriters and composers who think
too much. One could almost say (as long as
they laughed afterwards) that the ICS functions as
a kind of Tortured
Genius Anonymous for musicians – an eye-twitch inducing
subculture of musical games and songwriter ‘lodges’,
providing support and assistance to “talented
basket cases and unmotivated visionaries” everywhere..
An especially desperate attempt to explain everything
about the ICS really
fast might read like this…
The ICS is a ring of songwriter
lodges, which is sort of like a small, local
secret society of musicians. The lodge exists as a
way for all of the members to force
themselves to write as much music as possible.
The privacy and secrecy of a lodge are there so that
while the lodge members are busy making as much music
as possible, they can also feel especially free and
uninhibited about it, in the manner of a person who
knows that nobody is watching
(except friends). The members of an ICS lodge have
sworn to support and encourage each other completely.
So, that’s nice.
The main thing that ICS lodges do is coordinate regularly
to play their central speed-songwriting game, which takes
place over the course of a single day.
is called the “20-Song Game”.
works like this:
1) Everyone who is playing the game wakes up on the
same day, and, while remaining split up for most of
the day, all of the players individually attempt to
write and record as many new songs as possible before the
day is over. In theory; they are all aiming for twenty
songs. In practice; absolute chaos generally
2) At the end of the day, everyone
in the lodge puts their session on a CD or cassette,
and after pausing at a store to procure
important) they all descend on a common location,
where they have a lodge meeting; which is to say,
a listening party where everyone listens to all of
the music that everyone made, while braying in the
manner of wild beasts.
After a couple years of existence, an interesting
thing happened to the Society...