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April 2nd, 2009:

Toronto is 175!

From the Contest website:

Have you got the music in you? Have you got a song in your heart?

In honour of the City’s 175th anniversary, the City of Toronto is hosting the Toronto SongContest. We’re looking for an original song that is evocative of our wonderful city, a song that will pay homage to Toronto’s amazing spirit and its unparalleled diversity.

How to enter

The contest officially opens on Monday, March 30, 2009 and submissions will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 10, 2009.The contest is open to any Canadian resident 13 years of age or older.

Compose your song using any lyrical music genre, e.g., pop, rock, folk, roots, hip hop, rap, jazz, world. Songs must be less than four minutes in length. You must submit your song in MP3 format, the lyrics to your song and a short biography (200 words or less) to Sonicbids – the official website of the Toronto Song Contest.

Winners and prizes

Judges selected by the City will evaluate all of the song submissions and will select up to 10 finalists and the winner of the contest from among those finalists. The process for announcing and promoting both the finalists and the contest winner will be determined at a later date. Judges will base their evaluation of the songs on the following criteria

* Creativity
* Originality
* Lyrics
* Melody
* Arrangement

The winner will receive a prize of $5,000 Canadian, payable by cheque, and will retain all rights to any SOCAN royalties payable for the use of the song.

May the Muse be with you and best of luck if you enter!

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SongStudio ’09

Kudos to Blair Packham et al (which “al” includes Rik Emmett, Ember Swift, Steven Page, Zack Werner and more!) for setting up SongStudio ’09, described as a “week-long adventure in songwriting at Toronto’s Ryerson University” and scheduled to take place this summer: July 18 – 24, 2009.

Just a bit from the website (which you should visit for yourself):

The week will focus on learning how to write your best songs ever. Best of all, you will get many chances to perform your songs, for supportive, attentive audiences in a warm, nurturing environment.

SongStudio’s format is designed to help you acquire strategies and tools to help turn your ideas into real, finished songs. Good songs that speak to your audience. If you have something to express through song, we can help. Maybe you only write lyrics. At SongStudio, chances are you’ll meet someone who needs help with their words, or who only writes music. And in the meantime, we can help you make your lyrics communicate more effectively, and help you learn how to write effective, compelling melodies and chord changes.

Something else happens at our workshops. Some might call it networking. We prefer to think of it as making friends, and if the last four years are any indication, many of the friendships made at our past workshops will be for life. This is a beautiful thing. So often, songwriting is a solitary art. When the experience can be shared, a community builds.

At SongStudio you will sing, you will laugh, you will listen, you’ll “talk shop”, but most of all, you will grow as a writer and as an artist.

Sounds like a wonderful, creative environment… May the Muse be with them all!

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Back with Elvis Costello

It’s been too long since I’ve posted… just busy work-wise and sad personal-wise to deal with my blogs but I’m excited about Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show finally being shown in Canada on CTV!

I first posted about this a while back and more recently here

I won’t repeat what was said in my past posts, only to add that the National Post carried this article today on the show.

I enjoyed the article and am really looking forward to the show. I hope you’ll watch it too… Some quotes from the article follow:

“They try to compare it to a talk show, but [David] Letterman goes on five times a week with three people every night,” Costello, 54, says. “I could never go on that often — there aren’t that many witty people in the world.”

“Any host, really, just has to set the scene,” says Costello, who writes every show and draws upon his huge musical knowledge in talking with guests such as Herbie Hancock and Elton John. “I steer the conversation toward a subject I’m interested in — that’s really all I’m suited to do.”

Costello’s onstage familiarity with jamming gives his show an improvised feel. What began with a dependence on a teleprompter gave way to playing with his guests by ear.

“The show really changed with Bill Clinton,” says Costello, explaining how the former U. S. president’s people informed him he’d only have 45 minutes to shoot. However, the famed raconteur and, according to Costello, quite able saxophonist made it clear he was in no hurry to leave.

“I’d only written about 20 minutes of questions, but found the last part of our program was the best bit,” he says. “I still spend loads of time researching, but perhaps I’m not the weak conversationalist I thought I was.”

May the Muse be with you… this Friday at 10:00 p.m. on CTV (and for 13 shows in total!)

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