The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge is a truly unique event where songwriters are challenged to write a new, original song inspired by a work of art. In previous years songwriters have had to pick from the art on display at Mathew Street’s View Two Gallery, but with the closure of the gallery in June the organisers have taken the opportunity to widen the scope.
To enter this year’s challenge a songwriter has to choose a piece of art that inspires them to write a new song. The art must be on public display during the entry period – 30th September to 29th October – and can be situated anywhere in the Liverpool City Region (Merseyside and Halton).
The songwriter can choose a painting, mural, statue, sculpture, stained glass window, pavement art, or anything else generally accepted as ‘art’.
The songwriter has until Sunday 29th October to write the song and submit it as a recording along with a copy of the lyrics and a photo of the art. The judges will listen to the art-inspired songs and mark each one for lyrics, melody, composition and originality. The top ten songs will be performed at the Showcase Final on the evening of Saturday 13th January 2018 at Leaf on Bold St where the Judges’ Award winner will be announced. The Audience Favourite song will be chosen too.
The winning songwriters in the two categories – Judges Award and Audience Favourite – receive the following prizes:-
Jon Lawton, owner of Crosstown Studios and judge, says:-
“The Songwriting Challenge is a great experience to be involved in. The competition really helps to showcase some of Liverpool’s best underground musical talents and I can’t wait to see who we end up working with this year!”
The writers of the winning songs in both categories will also receive two hours of vocal coaching or songwriting support at Balance Vocal Studio from returning judge Kaya Herstad Carney. Pathway Leader and lecturer at the Academy of Contemporary Music, Kaya is also a musician, singer, and co-organiser of Threshold Festival. Kaya says:-
“It’s always exciting to hear what the songwriters come up with. It inspires me as an artist and it often helps me find new gems for Threshold.“
Liverpool Acoustic’s Graham Holland says:-
“This year we’ve expanded from our former home at the View Two Gallery to take in the breadth of art on display across the whole of the Liverpool City Region and I for one can’t wait to the new songs the area will inspire. Stephen Langstaff once again joins judges Kaya Herstad Carney, Jon Lawton, and Robert Vincent to complete this year’s panel.“
Judge and Patron of the Songwriting Challenge, local singer-songwriter Stephen Langstaff says:
“The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge is a great idea. I’ve watched it inspire newly emerging songwriters in our city into create some great and interesting songs. And mixing visual arts with music is always good fun too.”
The Songwriting Challenge is open to anyone of any age living in the UK. However, entrants must have visited the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley, and Halton) between 30th September 2017 and the closing date of 29th October. The rules and conditions of entry are available on the Songwriting Challenge website at challenge.liverpoolacoustic.
The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge is free to enter. Entry to the Showcase Final on Friday 13th January will be by ticket, available in advance from 1st December. All profits raised will be split between Marie Curie Cancer Care and Garston Animal Rescue in memory of Liverpool Acoustic team member Sharon Jones who died in May 2011.
Judges Award 2016:
Ed Jones – Love Is Blind
Click here to listen to the winning song.
Audience Favourite 2016:
Alison Benson – Black Pearls (Unfinished Business)
Click here to listen to the winning song.
Judges Award 2015:
Maria Silker – The Right Goodbye
Click here to listen to the winning song performed by Maria Silker and recorded by Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios.
Audience Favourite 2015:
Isabel Lim – Pretty Talk
Judges Award 2014:
Jo Bywater – Riches To Rags
Click here to listen to the winning song performed by Jo Bywater and recorded by Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios.
Audience Favourite 2014:
Joint first place: Kevin Eustace – Devils Ego
Joint first place: John Jenkins – Put The World To Rights
Judges Award & Audience Favourite 2013:
Alexandra Jayne – 1969
Click here to listen to the winning song performed by Alexandra Jayne and recorded by Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios.
Judges Award 2012:
Vanessa Murray – I Don’t Wanna Lose You Like This
Watch the video for Vanessa’s winning song here.
Judges Award 2011:
Simon Madison – Brother of Fur
Watch Simon playing his winning song at the 2011 Showcase Final here.
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.
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