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21 Aug 2019

Call for Scores from Asia / America New Music Institute (AANMI)

The Asia / America New Music Institute (AANMI) presents Passing the Torch, the 1st international composition competition in conjunction with its June 2020 concert tour of Japan, supported by the US Embassy in Tokyo.

Deadline: 31 Jan 2020 (F)

About the competition

The Asia / America New Music Institute (AANMI) announces its inaugural composition competition, to coincide with the organization’s 2020 concert tour of Japan, Passing the Torch. The winner will join AANMI on an all-expenses-paid concert tour of Japan featuring their piece on multiple concerts throughout the country.

Music is a critical and meaningful component of the Olympic Games. Since 1924, the national anthem of the winner of each event has been played at the medal ceremonies in recognition of their victory. 

These songs are not just sonic statements of patriotism; they are historical affirmations of national pride and finely crafted musical compositions in their own rights. Much about a country can be gleaned from its canon of songs, whether they be historical anthems, traditional folk tunes, or hymns of religious significance. Yet, in an age when the velocity of cultural change outpaces the ability of institutions to adapt, some may feel that these pieces of music no longer represent the character of their country faithfully. Furthermore, even if each song is unique in its own right, in toto they share many common musical characteristics: chorale-based melodies, military march figurations, etc. 

AANMI’s tour program, Passing the Torch, aims to revitalize the inspirational force of this body of songs in transnational contexts. 6 composers representing 6 different cultural traditions, as well as the winner of the inaugural AANMI composition competition, will present world-premiere pieces based on songs of historical significance of their choosing. These compositions can use the original song as inspiration in any way whatsoever – in some cases, as a thematic premise through the quotation of melody; in others, only as a theoretical underpinning. Passing the Torch highlights the work of some of the most talented young composers in the world who have taken on the mantle of cultural diplomacy. Through this concert, we will hear both the unique musical evolution that these composers have given rise to in their cultures through music, as well as the uniting musical structures in these compositions that bring us together.

Requirements

The submitted piece must conform to the guidelines below.

  • 5 – 10 minutes in length.
  • Instrumentation: 1 flute, 1 clarinet, 1 horn, 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 double bass, 1 percussionist (snare drum, cymbal, woodblocks, shakers, tambourine, triangle, glockenspiel), conductor.
  • Based in some way on a historical / traditional piece of music significant to the composer. Examples of such pieces include:
    • A national anthem (e.g. “Kimigayo” of Japan)
    • A folk tune (e.g. “Arirang” of Korea)
    • A patriotic song (e.g. “Bayan Ko” of the Philippines)
  • The submitted piece need not be a world premiere, and can be an arrangement of a pre-existing piece, so long as it conforms to the guidelines above. However, preference will be given to world premiere pieces.

Submission

Please submit the following via the website aanmi.org/competition (link below) from 1 Sep 2019 (Su) onwards, latest by 31 Jan 2020 (F).

  • $25 application fee (payment details on website)
  • Copy of passport
  • Completed application form
  • 1-page résumé / CV
  • Full score of the composition (PDF)
  • 1 – 2 page statement addressing the following:
    • How AANMI’s mission resonates with the composer
    • How the historical / traditional piece of music is significant to the composer
    • How the historical / traditional piece of music is used in the submission
    • What the composer hopes to gain from Passing the Torch
  • [Optional] Audio recording of the piece. Well-rendered MIDIs are perfectly acceptable.

PRIZE

Applicants will be notified of results by 1 Mar 2020 (Su). The winner will be a featured composer on AANMI’s 2020 concert tour of Japan, Passing the Torch. The tour runs from 18-30 Jun 2020 (Th-Tu) consisting of performances in some of Japan’s most prominent cultural sites and concert halls. All travel, lodging, and per diem will be paid for.