Project Song

Project Song

Get inside the creative process in Studio 4A, and watch as each musician writes and records a new composition in just two days. (NPR)

In NPR’s original online video series Project Song, we meet talented musicians and get behind-the-scene sights and sounds as their creative process is documented from start to finish.

Each songwriter is given two days to write and record a song from scratch. Each participant chooses inspiration from a group of six photos and six words, and then works two 10-hour days to create an original piece.

Nellie McKay chose a photo of a group of men dancing the Charleston and the word “bravado” for her inspiration. She goes on to painstakingly create the song “Cavendish,” combining her talents as a singer, composer, pianist, cellist and ukulele player.

Magnetic Fields guru Stephin Merritt picked an image of a man wearing a suit covered with baby dolls and the number 1974.

Georgie James, a pop duo, chose a photo of a pile of books in an empty office and the phrase “something joyful” for the essence of their song.

This collection of videos shows the musicians’ angst, drive and talent as they create their music and discuss their inner process with NPR host Bob Boilen.

Webby Award 2009 winner, Online Film & Video, Music category.


Produced and Hosted by Bob Boilen
Produced and Photographed by David Gilkey and John Poole
Sound by Rob Byers
Edited by John Poole