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At the suggestion of a friend, I recently entered a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. There are four rounds to it. For each round, the participants have ten days to write a song that fits the specifications.

The challenge for the first round was: “Write a song about a childhood nightmare. Include significant use of rubato.” (Rubato is when you vary the tempo of a song in an expressive and naturalistic way.) I ended up with a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins influenced thing called ‘The Maze’.

I made it through the first round, but it was closer than I’d have liked — the ten people with the lowest scores were eliminated, and I had the 12th lowest score. (The most common criticism was of the accordion solo, which everyone thought was too loud and some people also thought wasn’t very good.)

But I did make it through. (The winner was Chris Cogott’s song ‘Alone’ incidentally.)

For round 2, the challenge was “Write a musical Valentine’s Day card to someone OTHER than your significant other.” I wrote a song which hopefully does not stretch the concept too far — it is a message to a couple from their neighbors who wish them to know that they (the neighbors) can hear them having sex. During the listening party (when all of the songs get their debut) people seemed to enjoy it. Anyway:

For the first couple of rounds, there is an important popular vote component to the scoring. Last round I got three votes, which I think was a big contributor to my near-elimination, so I’m hoping to do better this round. You can vote in the right sidebar of the SpinTunes blog — vote for up to five of your favorite entries, which I hope will include me.

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