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Songwriters you NEED to get involved in this

6 years ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Songwriters you NEED to get involved in this

The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge is a truly unique event where songwriters are challenged to write a new, original song inspired by a work of art.

In previous years songwriters have had to pick from the art on display at Mathew Street’s View Two Gallery, but with the closure of the gallery in June the organisers have taken the opportunity to widen the scope.

To enter this year’s challenge a songwriter has to choose a piece of art that inspires them to write a new song. The art must be on public display during the entry period – 30th September to 29th October – and can be situated anywhere in the Liverpool City Region (Merseyside and Halton).

The songwriter can choose a painting, mural, statue, sculpture, stained glass window, pavement art, or anything else generally accepted as ‘art’.

The songwriter has until Sunday 29th October to write the song and submit it as a recording along with a copy of the lyrics and a photo of the art. The judges will listen to the art-inspired songs and mark each one for lyrics, melody, composition and originality. The top ten songs will be performed at the Showcase Final on the evening of Saturday 13th January 2018 at Leaf on Bold St where the Judges’ Award winner will be announced. The Audience Favourite song will be chosen too.

The winning songwriters in the two categories – Judges Award and Audience Favourite – receive the following prizes:-

  • Song professionally recorded by judge Jon Lawton at Liverpool’s Crosstown Studios.
  • Professional photoshoot at Crosstown Studios‘ brand new photography studio.
  • A two hour vocal or songwriting lesson from judge Kaya Herstand Carney at Balance Vocal Studio.
  • A cello lesson from Operation Lightfoot’s Luke Moore.
  • The Judges’ Award winner receives a slot at Liverpool Acoustic Live’s anniversary show on 2nd February 2018.

Jon Lawton, owner of Crosstown Studios and judge, says:-

The Songwriting Challenge is a great experience to be involved in. The competition really helps to showcase some of Liverpool’s best underground musical talents and I can’t wait to see who we end up working with this year!”

The writers of the winning songs in both categories will also receive two hours of vocal coaching or songwriting support at Balance Vocal Studio from returning judge Kaya Herstad Carney. Pathway Leader and lecturer at the Academy of Contemporary Music, Kaya is also a musician, singer, and co-organiser of Threshold Festival. Kaya says:-

It’s always exciting to hear what the songwriters come up with. It inspires me as an artist and it often helps me find new gems for Threshold.

Last years winner was songwriter Ed Jones with ‘Love Is Blind’.

Liverpool Acoustic’s Graham Holland says:-

This year we’ve expanded from our former home at the View Two Gallery to take in the breadth of art on display across the whole of the Liverpool City Region and I for one can’t wait to the new songs the area will inspire. Stephen Langstaff once again joins judges Kaya Herstad Carney, Jon Lawton, and Robert Vincent to complete this year’s panel.

Judge and Patron of the Songwriting Challenge, local singer-songwriter Stephen Langstaff says:

“The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge is a great idea. I’ve watched it inspire newly emerging songwriters in our city into create some great and interesting songs. And mixing visual arts with music is always good fun too.”

The Songwriting Challenge is open to anyone of any age living in the UK. However, entrants must have visited the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley, and Halton) between 30th September 2017 and the closing date of 29th October. The rules and conditions of entry are available on the Songwriting Challenge website at

The Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge is free to enter. Entry to the Showcase Final on Saturday 13th January will be by ticket, available in advance from 1st December. All profits raised will be split between Marie Curie Cancer Care and Garston Animal Rescue in memory of Liverpool Acoustic team member Sharon Jones who died in May 2011.

Full details can be found on the Songwriting Challenge website



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