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Big Sing Song Commission: Call to artists - Expression of Interest

Posted on 15 October 2019

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Sage Gateshead wishes to commission 5 new songs for this academic year’s Big Sing.

Artist Opportunity

Sage Gateshead wishes to commission Artists to create 5 new songs for this academic year’s Big Sing: Sing for the Earth project; a term-long vocal project supported by the Kavli Trust and in association with Sing Up, open to schools from across the North of England and culminating in a fantastic live performance in Sage One at Sage Gateshead in Summer 2020. Click here to find out more about the Big Sing project

The successful Artists will collaborate with the Big Sing project team at Sage Gateshead and engage with key stakeholders throughout the commission process.

 The successful songs will be:

  • Themed around ‘Sing for the Earth – singing in support of climate action’

Eg. Displacement of people, rising sea levels, endangered species, extinction, plastics, our oceans, our forests, climate change etc.

It might be that your song looks in more detail at one of the above rather than a general climate action themed song.

  • Range: The core melodic range and tessitura should sit within middle C – A, occasional use of lower and higher notes should go no lower than A below middle C or higher than C, one octave above middle C.
  • Difficulty: The song needs to be easy for Primary age children to learn, with mostly stepwise melody and plenty of space to breathe. The song should mostly be in unison throughout. Dynamic scheme needs to be simple but effective. To help with ensemble, the tempo should remain consistent for the singers (though a piano rit. in the intro/outro/between verses would be fine).
  • Lyrics: The lyrics need to scan well and be thematically appropriate to primary-age children. Ideally choruses would be exact repeats and care should be taken to avoid overly wordy songs making learning difficult.

(We’d like to have the opportunity to suggest changes to the lyrics before the entire song is written -see deadlines below).

  • Length: [2.5 – 3 mins. Max 3 minutes]
  • Structure: [Intro-Verse-Chorus (max. 3 verses)]
  • Style: any style

As well as original material, we will consider new arrangements of traditional songs, raps and poems turned into songs where we do not need to seek copyright approval.

Each song will have:

  • Lyrics in an MS Word format
  • Vocal part: Demonstration performance track as an MP3(hi-qual, max 15MB). If more than one vocal part please include demonstration audio of other vocal parts – one track per part (part should be higher in mix, other parts lower in mix)
  • Draft Sibelius file – Containing melody/ies, lyrics, accompaniment and chords (chord names)
  • Backing track as an MP3
  • For teacher: piano accompaniment, suitable for amateur piano player
  • Activity notes in an MS Word format.

Deadlines:

Task Deadline Submission format
Expression of interest submission deadline 1st November Via email – see below for detail
Successful applicants contacted 7th November Phone or in person
First draft of complete song 29th November MS word lyrics, demo audio and Sibelius score
Final version of song, with score, backing track, performance audio & activity notes 13th December Sibelius score and demo audio
  • Please let us know if you are unable to meet these deadlines.
  • Sage Gateshead may request revisions to any component and will advise as soon as possible after receipt. Sage Gateshead will advise regarding sign off at each stage.

Budget

The anticipated fee for each commission will be £500 if the above requirements can be filled. The fee can be reduced if the Artist would like support with any of the required elements. This should be requested at submission stage by the Artist.

 Expression of Interest Submission Requirements:

If you would like to express interest in this commission opportunity, please;

Email: [email protected]

Subject title: E.O.I Big Sing: Sing for the Earth

Include:

  • Artist Statement: no longer than one page in length, outlining your artistic practice/experience, and why this commission is of interest to you.
  • The theme of your song with a draft chorus.
  • A rough recording of the chorus with backing (this could be done on mobile phone and is to reflect the style/chord progression and melody).
  • phone number to contact you on

Artist submissions due via e-mail by: 1st November

Introductory discussion for successful applicants: 7th November

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions, we look forward to hearing from you.