Game On 

A guide to some ICS exercises.

The 20-Song Game

The society's central game. On the same day, everyone wakes up in their own room or studio tries to write and record as many new songs as possible within twelve hours. Twenty songs is the goal, but fewer is fine. At the end of the day, the participants gather for a lodge meeting to share their work.

Hat Lib

Participants use sentence fragments on scraps of paper and a randomized hat drawing to create a plot for a musical, concept album, or opera that will be created and recorded in its entirety the next day. The players decide how many songs will be needed to tell the story and who will record which part.

Composer Tennis

A competitive game between two songwriters. Players take turns adding sections to one song, capturing something from the previous section (e.g. a melody, rhythm, or progression) and manipulating it into something new. The process results in one manic, self-destructive composition.


The one-player version of Composer Tennis. Instead of taking turns twisting and reinventing everything another composer writes, you are playing against yourself.

The 30-Day Game

Designed for ICS veterans who want a break from the hyper-productivity of the 20-Song Game. The players have a month to do anything they want, allowing for greater focus on detail, arrangement, and production. Many opt to spend this time polishing and revising favorite songs from previous ICS sessions. At the end of the month, players meet for a listening party.

The Opus Game

Like the 30-Day Game, an alternative for seasoned ICS members who have mastered the 20-Song Game. Rather than trying to record as many tracks as possible, players must write one epic song in one day.

The Kit Game

Each player has seven days to create a "songwriting kit" designed to make songwriting faster and easier. This could take the form of song templates, a sample database, shorthand code, etc. At the end of week, the player tests his kit by using it to write and record a bunch of songs in one day, in classic ICS fashion. The meeting is on the seventh day.


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