In this issue:
• iCompositions' 3rd Birthday
• "Invisible Dyads" Contest
• Discount on Minim
• "Criminally Overlooked"
This Week's Top 5 Songs
1. MIND WALK
2. Won't You Stay?
3. WELCOME TO YEAR ZERO
5. Purple Rain
Celebrating iCompositions' Third Birthday
Today marks iCompositions' third year of existence: exactly three years ago, Steve Jobs and John Mayer took the stage at Macworld Expo '04 to announce a little program called GarageBand and shortly thereafter, iCompositions came to life.
Things have certainly come a long way since that day. I fondly remember our excitement over reaching the 50-member milestone, then 500, then 5,000... and now we're on our way to 50,000!
But it's not the size of the community that matters. What has really impressed me to no end over the years is the kindness and closeness of our iCompositions family. I want to thank everyone who made all of this possible, every developer, designer, administrator, and moderator. Most of all, however, I want to thank you guys, our community. We couldn't have done this without you.
Here's to another great year!
More information » "Invisible Dyads" Contest
We're celebrating our third birthday with a contest that is a bit of a departure from our previous competitions. With the release of iC3 in late 2005, we introduced a site-supported method of naming collaborators on songs and the response to that change has been phenomenal. There are currently more than 2,000 songs posted to iCompositions that credit multiple artists and, considering the great distances that separate many collaborators, that is no small number.
With the prevalence of the collaborative spirit in the community, this year's iCompositions Birthday Celebration contest will allow pairs of entrants to submit songs created for this contest. There is no specific theme or genre but entries must be original creations for this contest.
So that covers the "dyad" part, but what about the invisibility? Nearly every aspect of this contest will be handled in secrecy. Once participants have committed to participate, they will be randomly paired with another entrant. They will be provided with each other's contact information (email addresses) and can then discuss and go about composing their song. Submissions will be sent via email and posted to iCompositions for member voting by members of the iCompositions team. They will be uploaded by the user "Invisible Dyad" to maintain the secrecy of the artists' identities. Artists will not be allowed to tell anyone who they are paired with or which song is theirs.
More information » 20% off Minim for iCompositions members
M Cubed Software is giving members of iCompositions 20% off their Minim music management software. Minim takes the pain out of the logistics of composing a song by managing metadata, lyrics, collaborators, song files, and album organization.
Additionally, Minim can pre-fill the iCompositions upload form with the information you've stored about a song!
The discount can be accessed from our Members Only section. jdwyer05's "Criminally Overlooked" Music Recommendations
By Illuminator, special guest contributor
I've been debating, since JD approached me with the idea of participating in the shout out process, of how my contribution would best be of interest to the iComp community. I've thought I could do a top-10 shout, but then you can hear those for yourself. They are easily found. I've also thought about choosing either a specific, or series of, genre, but that is also something easily found on the same page referenced previously. What would you find most helpful? That is the question that keeps coming to my mind. While I continue to ponder this, I've decided to introduce you to some of my favorite artists this week.
During my almost two-year tenure at iComp, I've been simply amazed by the quality of music produced by the participating artists. So much so, that I constantly find myself wondering why there isn't a whole host of label recruiters rummaging through the music looking for new talent. It's here... In Spades.
My first exposure to iComp was a very satisfying experience. I remember it like it was yesterday. One of the first songs I had the pleasure of listening to was a tune by Moptzar. A south Jersey musician who is simply marvelous. His song Snake In The Grass, although played on an "out of tune" guitar is one of the best I've heard. I smile every time I hear it. It's got that special something that I look for in an enjoyable tune.
One of my passions is Blues. I love 'em. Love listening to 'em and love singing 'em. There are some mighty Blues artists on iComp. I dare say, some Blues masters. Among them is, my buddy from "The Great White North", AJ, a.k.a. HooDooBlues. This man is an amazing Blues guitarist. Everything from the slide to straight in your face kick a** Blues. Although, I practically salivate over everything he does, I want to share with you one of my absolute favorites called Hank's Shuffle. This guy knows his stuff. He even had a special Christmas gift for everyone called I Won't be Home for Christmas, which is cool because of the minor key in which he played it.
Speaking of Blues masters, how about the guitar virtuoso anders007? Can this man play that Axe, or what? I've listened to a lot of anders music and am impressed each and every time. He relentlessly pursues perfection as well. This is evident in his great, multi versions, songs, like Over The Top Blues and Mustang Sally. To have been playing guitar for only 5 years?!? I don't know how he sleeps at night. He must be constantly playing!
JD has spoken many times about the wonderful women of iComp. I have to agree with him. There are some incredibly talented women on iComp, who don't get nearly enough attention. One of them is Jennifer Vicente, from Orlando Florida, on iComp under the name jeremus. Jennifer has a powerful, magical, voice. When I first heard why you wanna know me?, I was blown away by the professionalism of it. The voice, the music, the whole package blew me away. In a word; Sultry.
Another female voice, I am in love with, belongs to HaleyDeakin. I am certain that quite a few iCompers know of Haley. However, if you've never had the pleasure, of hearing any of her vocals, it is a treat you don't want to miss. She put up an A Cappella piece that has been put to music so many times, I lose count. It is called Nothing is Trivial and is quite something to listen to in and of itself. However, one of my favorites from Haley has to be Not So Perfect The mix, music and lyrics are perfect. The delivery of this song is simply outstanding.
Why is it that women can do vocal harmonies so much better than us men? What is their secret? Anyone care to enlighten me? I really want to know.
I know that JD said Chris was going to "Shout Out" classical music, but I've gotta put my two cents in too. Classical music is another passion of mine. I'm not going to say I'm an expert, because that is far from the truth. I simply love listening. However, before I get to the classical, let me out Chris. She has some great tunes too. Everything in the World is a tune that Chris collaborated with Wanting on. This is a great song. The music and the vocal will move you.
Regarding a couple of classical favorites, I would say that my tastes are not really mainline or extreme. I simply like works that sounds good and are heartfelt. That being said, let me introduce you to a fairly recent artist here on iComp (compared to me anyway) named beeblenoid. beeb is from The O.C, although I am not sure where that is and put together a wonderful piano piece called melusine variations, in response to Mystified's Five Minute Challenge. If you haven't taken part in the challenge, I highly recommend it.
Secondly, while not really classical, it has tendencies in that direction, Machu Picchu by blueprintorchestra, from the wonderful city of Luxembourg. I've got to say for a graphic designer, BPO can certainly paint a lovely soundscape!
We'll wind up this weeks Shout Out with a flurry of tunes that I enjoy and believe deserve more attention: O Holy Nght2 by TheTiler, Key To The Highway by Barretok, Phase 2 by JohnDeeFair and Im not a Blues Boy, Im a Blues Man by Dallas.
Don't miss the special Audio Companion for this