Fashioned after traditional poetry slams and storytelling events like The Moth, each SWC’s songSLAM gives teams of composers and performers a chance to present world premieres of art song and compete for audience-awarded cash prizes totaling up to $2,000.
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Fashioned after traditional poetry slams and storytelling events like The Moth, each SWC’s songSLAM gives teams of composers and performers a chance to present world premieres of art song and compete for audience-awarded cash prizes totaling up to $2,000. Each regional songSLAM is produced with a partnering local organization. Since the inaugural songSLAM of 2016 in NYC, our first come, first served registration has filled in under 15 minutes of opening, and our songSLAM audiences are typically sold out and/or standing room only. The songSLAM was developed to bring in new, energized, and invested audiences for art song while removing barriers and gatekeepers for performers and composers. Our NYC songSLAM is the flagship event and in 2024 will be produced in partnership with National Sawdust.
During the 2023-2024 season, SWC will partner with organizations across the United States and internationally to produce 8 songSLAM events, allowing for the premiere of over 100 new songs and engaging with over 200 emerging artists in the following cities: NYC (‘Sparks’ & ‘National Sawdust’), Tallahassee (Florida State University), Waco, TX (Lone Star Song), Bratislava, Slovakia (421 Foundation), Bloomington, IN (Indiana University), Chicago, IL (Fourth Coast Ensemble), Ljubljana, Slovenia (Festival Ljubljana), and Minneapolis, MN (Source Song Festival).
Every year Sparks & Wiry Cries awards a songSLAM commission prize to one of the composers from the previous NYC songSLAM. This year’s commission will be the world premiere of “Anger in Open Mouths: Three Sweet Songs,” by composer Laura Nevitt and poet Viviana Gill performed by mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski and pianist Erika Switzer.
Artist Performers for the NYC songSLAM & songSLAM Commission Winner
14 songSLAM teams of of composer/singer/pianist presenting
world premiere songs for the voting audience
the 2023 songSLAM Commission Prize Winner: composer Laura Nevitt
premiering Anger in Open Mouths: Three Sweet Songs on texts by Viviana Gill
performed by mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski & pianist Erika Switzer
About Sparks & Wiry Cries: Co-Curator
Sparks & Wiry Cries exists to curate opportunities for art song creators, performers, and scholars.
It began in 2009 as a podcast and online magazine, contextualizing art song through the sharing of recordings, interviews, and articles by prominent artists and scholars. In 2015, co-founders soprano Martha Guth and pianist Erika Switzer expanded their vision by presenting an art song recital series based in New York City and today our sparksLIVE events and Art Song Magazine actively engage in current conversations through insightful publishing, programming, and commissioning. Recent additions to the Sparks brand are the curation and publication of new works through E.C. Schirmer and NewMusicShelf, and the development of art song performance projects as represented by UIA Talent Agency.