What I’ve learned so far from the SoundCrawl

Hello, I thought I’d jot a quick note about the SoundCrawl.  It’s becoming a bit of a circus, something is always going on, and it seems like  a million decisions have yet to be made.

1 – I now understand why festivals/contests charge for submission.  Our most devoted individuals are the hopeful participants.  Our budget is tiny, yet had we charged $5 per submission, we’d have quadrupled our budget this year.  That will very definitely change for next year.

2- Dear Artists:  please make art that is compelling and creates a continuous line.  Counterpoint is still the name of the game.

3- My own art needs better beginnings.  A few of my pieces start with a “come with me… on a journey… ” kind of statement, a pensive, sometimes self-conscious way of ASKing the audience to care.  Pieces that started that way 9/10 times did not receive a yes from the soundcrawl.   Like a string quartet, it needs to open with something awesome that generates its own interest.  “Dang.  She’s good. I want to hear what’s next!”  Those guys got in.  Almost every time.

4- I learned an expensive lesson about sponsorship materials.  Once again, I over-communicated, showing too many of my cards, and wound up leaving some money on the table.  Lesson learned.   The up side is that I feel like I’m crossing the threshold into the world of arts admin “development.”

5- This art form is incredibly varied. I love that diversity.  We worked pretty hard to find a space for pieces that each major stream of the genre.  Everything from Hip-hop to sound collage.

6- Dear artists, stop being so self-indulgent.  Love, Soundcrawl.  Please don’t take 20 seconds to take us somewhere cool, and then spend 2 minutes telling us about what just happened.  Or repeating your awesome device 6 times.

7- We finally have narrowed our definition of what we’re looking for:  art that showcases the artists ability to manipulate audio, creating  a piece that relies on the artists vision, not the components of the piece.  Additionally, the works we seek are not those that seek to duplicate (however painstakingly) an acoustic artistic event.  A kazoo solo is a fine place to start a piece, but the electronic manipulation needs to be the main source of development, not the melody of the solo.  Film score in a techno, Jason Bourne kind of way?  awesome.  Film Score in a synthesized LOTR kind of way? Not awesome.  A ridiculous amount of tedious work goes into such a piece.  We have all kinds of respect for the field, but the focus of the festival is elsewhere.

Thats all for now… we’re still 6 weeks (ish) away from the event on October 3rd.  The final selections will be posted on the website soon