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SAW Notes

  • 02/09/2021 12:42 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    SAW’s wunderkind of video Steve Pendlebury got a chance to talk to one of our local perennially prolific young songwriters, Teghan Devon. Teghan’s song is featured on MTV's Ghosted: Love Gone Missing on Monday. The Mid-Atlantic Song Contest is proud of our association with her. See all the winners of this Year’s MASC at saw.org. 

  • 02/08/2021 12:35 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    Jimmy Stewart won the instrumental gold in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest this year and last. We got to visit with him to talk about his music, his life and his gear. Listen to his winning song and all the others at saw.org. Find out more about Jimmy on his website. Watch the interview below and video to Lemoyne.

  • 02/06/2021 10:49 AM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    Jody Marshall and Carey Creed surprised Jody's mom Jessie for her 99th (!) birthday by recording a song she (Jessie) wrote about her memories of living with her grandparents in rural NC in the early 30s). Jay Keating and I talked with Jody about what inspired her mom, what it was like to grow up in a musical family, & her own musical career as a hammered dulcimer player and teacher. You can listen to Wait for Me, My Polly (at the bottom of the page) and find out more about Jody on her website

  • 02/04/2021 4:36 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    Phillip Beatty let us stop by (virtually) and visit him at his home outside of Frederick, to talk about his music and what writing with partner Allen Kave is like. We are trying to create an online picture of Mid-Atlantic Song Contest participants and how they help create our local music scene. Check out all the MASC winners on the contest page.


  • 02/03/2021 4:31 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    Mike Glick and his talented son, Aleksi were each recognized in this year’s Mid-Atlantic Song ContestWe talked with them about their generational music family and got some insight into the sync licensing business with Ron Goad, Kelly Diamond and Jay Keating.

  • 02/02/2021 3:39 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    We are starting a new video series called MASC Stories: Songwriter Conversations to celebrate our MASC award winners and those that participated in the contest this year. Our hope is that this years' online celebrations will be an engaging way for you to get to know some of your fellow songwriters, learn about why and how they write, and get to hear/see some great songs and videos. 

    Ron Goad led an interview with Roderick Deacey who won Mid-Atlantic Song Contest’s Gold in the Lyrics Only Category.

  • 01/31/2021 12:19 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is accepting musical submissions for our Virtual 2021 Make Music Montgomery contest. All County residents or people who work in the County  are invited to apply and participate. Submitted acts must contain a live musical element, but may also include dance or other forms of artistic expression. Acts are desired in a variety of languages and cultures from people of all ages and abilities.

    Please submit a virtual audition file no longer than 3 minutes in length by midnight on March 3, 2021. The audition file should be an audio/video recording of your intended performance. Email the file or link to MCPL.MakeMusic@montgomerycountymd.gov. Performers can also mail or deliver their audition file/media to Eric Carzon, Connie Morella Library, 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814. To deliver a file personally, please call the branch to arrange to deliver your item via the Holds-2-Go process, 240-777-0970. Performers can submit the file or media in any common format, send an inquiry to MCPL.MakeMusic@montgomerycountymd.gov as early as possible if you have questions.  

    Selected musical acts will perform during the first hour of Virtual Just for the Record – A Vinyl Day on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 12 to 3 pm on Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/watch/MontgomeryCountyPublicLibraries/ ).  A panel of community “celebrity” judges will award first ($100 value) and second prizes ($50 value) and provide constructive advice. Prizes are funded by the primary program sponsor, the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Inc.

    MCPL contact: Eric Carzon Eric.Carzon@montgomerycountymd.gov  (240-777-0934)


  • 09/19/2020 1:04 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)
    So grateful for the chance to have the Songwriters' Association of Washington work with inspirational people through Cammo Center for American Military Music Opportunities and their leader, Cathie Lechareas. Von Vargas, Mike RyanSteve PendleburyKelly Diamond and Jay Keating spent almost 6 hours with some military people (and a military spouse or two) who let us work on songs with them. Really good stuff. The time just flew by and we heard some great new voices emerge.


  • 04/23/2020 2:23 PM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    How the Snarky Sisterz recorded their Isolation Blues – by Diana Quinn

    Lisa Ann Wright and I (Snarky Sisterz) are spending the pandemic 400 miles apart; she is in upstate NY and I’m in Washington, D.C. At first, we thought we’d use FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Skype to practice. That didn’t work well because of something called latency, which is the lag between someone singing and playing a measure of music and you hearing it. We couldn’t sync ourselves on other social media platforms, either.  YouTube live is just OK if you are using one camera (say your music partner lives in the same house), but, again, latency is bad.  Facebook live is also herky jerky and jittery, and while, a few years ago, users could invite a guest to appear box-in-box, that feature no longer exists. JamKazam is aimed at musicians, but it has the same problem.  Zoom looked nice, but, again, it was impossible to play live with each other and look and sound good.  

    Lisa found a collaboration app for musicians called Acapella (for iphones and ipads), which we have been using with some success.  It is not live.  A performer puts down his or her track and send it to the next performer, who, using Bluetooth earpods or headphones, records to the first track.  Up to nine people can collaborate on one song, or you can play all the parts to a song yourself.   You can’t edit your video, so you have to plan it fairly well, but you can re-record your part until you are happy with it.   I didn’t like recording on the iphone/ipad because I had little control over the audio quality/ settings, but that might be because I haven’t experimented enough with the app.  But, for a quick and easy way to make a little video with a friend, or even a band, this is a pretty simple solution.   

    On a zoom call, Lisa and I sketched out the music and verses for Isolation Blues.  Since I had an intro, I recorded my part first, playing guitar on all the verses and singing my parts.  Before putting down the part, you choose how many “boxes” you want on your screen and how to place those boxes on the screen.  Touch the empty box and the app gives you a countdown. You can also add a metronome, which can be controlled by each artist.  After you record your part, you save it and share; we found that text was the easiest method.  My recording part popped up in Lisa’s test messages, she clicked on it, and it opened in the app.  When you finish recording, you can upload it to various social media platforms.

    Note: Lisa and I continue our search for low-latency solutions, and we are looking at Streamlabs, or using Audiomovers with a social media app such as Zoom. If you have a good idea, I’d love to hear it (diana@muddypaws.com)!

    Acapella evidently was pretty hot when it came out in 2015, but usage plummeted.  You can get a free subscription on Apple’s App store, but if you want to record more than a minute, you have to upgrade.  A three-minute upgrade is $3 a month, and up to 10 minutes is $8 per month.  There is a bare bones FAQ, but only a handful of woefully inadequate YouTube videos describing how the app works. As for tech support, I haven’t received an answer to an audio settings question I sent last week.   I believe that this app is only available on iphone and ipad, not for apple desktop.  There may be an app for Android, but the company’s FAQ seems to discourage using it.

    Using the Acapella ios app for quick and easy music collaboration videos

    How the Snarky Sisterz recorded their Isolation Blues – Diana Quinn

    Lisa Ann Wright and I (Snarky Sisterz) are spending the pandemic 400 miles apart; she is in upstate NY and I’m in Washington, D.C.  At first, we thought we’d use FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Skype to practice.  That didn’t work well because of something called latency, which is the lag between someone singing and playing a measure of music and you hearing it.    We couldn’t sync ourselves on other social media platforms, either.  YouTube live is just OK if you are using one camera (say your music partner lives in the same house), but, again, latency is bad.  Facebook live is also herky jerky and jittery, and while, a few years ago, users could invite a guest to appear box-in-box, that feature no longer exists. JamKazam is aimed at musicians, but it has the same problem.  Zoom looked nice, but, again, it was impossible to play live with each other and look and sound good.  

    Lisa found a collaboration app for musicians called Acapella (for iphones and ipads), which we have been using with some success.  It is not live.  A performer puts down his or her track and send it to the next performer, who, using Bluetooth earpods or headphones, records to the first track.  Up to nine people can collaborate on one song, or you can play all the parts to a song yourself.   You can’t edit your video, so you have to plan it fairly well, but you can re-record your part until you are happy with it.   I didn’t like recording on the iphone/ipad because I had little control over the audio quality/ settings, but that might be because I haven’t experimented enough with the app.  But, for a quick and easy way to make a little video with a friend, or even a band, this is a pretty simple solution.   

    On a zoom call, Lisa and I sketched out the music and verses for Isolation Blues.  Since I had an intro, I recorded my part first, playing guitar on all the verses and singing my parts.  Before putting down the part, you choose how many “boxes” you want on your screen and how to place those boxes on the screen.  Touch the empty box and the app gives you a countdown. You can also add a metronome, which can be controlled by each artist.  After you record your part, you save it and share; we found that text was the easiest method.  My recording part popped up in Lisa’s test messages, she clicked on it, and it opened in the app.  When you finish recording, you can upload it to various social media platforms.

    Note: Lisa and I continue our search for low-latency solutions, and we are looking at Streamlabs, or using Audiomovers with a social media app such as Zoom. If you have a good idea, I’d love to hear it (diana@muddypaws.com)!

    Acapella evidently was pretty hot when it came out in 2015, but usage plummeted.  You can get a free subscription on Apple’s App store, but if you want to record more than a minute, you have to upgrade.  A three-minute upgrade is $3 a month, and up to 10 minutes is $8 per month.  There is a bare bones FAQ, but only a handful of woefully inadequate YouTube videos describing how the app works. As for tech support, I haven’t received an answer to an audio settings question I sent last week.   I believe that this app is only available on iphone and ipad, not for apple desktop.  There may be an app for Android, but the company’s FAQ seems to discourage using it.


  • 03/04/2020 11:03 AM | Kelly Diamond (Administrator)

    Make Music Day DMV seeks venues, voices, volunteers with vision and musicians of every kind for the June 21st celebration.

    An outbreak of music has been predicted for Sunday, June 21st throughout the DC, MD, VA area and the only cure is to listen and enjoy.
    ------

    Make Music Day, the annual global celebration of music occurring on the summer solstice, is a daylong musical free-for-all that brings musicians of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels together to make, enjoy, perform, teach and learn music. The Songwriters’ Association of Washington (SAW, saw.org) has picked up the gauntlet for Make Music Day celebrations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia and will be spearheading the 2020 festival, and we are now recruiting key volunteers and partners.

    We have already started to organize Make Music Day DMV into a truly unique celebration that honors the diversity of our local music scene and showcases how music can bring us all together, and are now recruiting key volunteers. If you have a passion for live music of every kind, the space, the time, we need you. Won’t you join our team and help us celebrate the universal language that speaks to us all…music?

    We have several events in the works already, and we encourage you to suggest and offer all ideas that are in the spirit of the celebration. This is a free day of music so venues, musicians and organizers may not be charged or ask for money to perform or manage a venue. Typically, Make Music Day events fall into one of these categories:
    - Live performances
    - Open Jam sessions
    - Events that focus on a single instrument, theme, or group performance of a well-known piece
    - Participatory workshops

    Keep reading to find out about past Make Music Day events in the DMV and throughout the world. Last year, more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries participated, for a total of over 5,000 free outdoor concerts, music lessons, jam sessions and other magnificent music-making events.

    Our local efforts are supported and coordinated by the national nonprofit Make Music Alliance, including access to an online matchmaking software that connects performers to venues, publicity, general consulting and other assistance. The Make Music Day website is not quite ready to go but will be soon. Please contact us at makemusicday@saw.org for more information and to get involved.

    About Make Music Day

    Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day celebrates and promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of ability. Reimagining their cities and towns as stages, every kind of musician – young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion – pours onto streets, parks, plazas, porches, rooftops, gardens and other public spaces to celebrate, create and share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers.

    Launched in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. In addition to massive citywide celebrations, Make Music Day will also include smaller festivities in other communities nationwide.

    Highlights of past Make Music Day events in the U.S. include:

    • Thousands of free, live performances, many held outside. Past DMV venues include the National Mall, Clarendon Central Park (an all-day festival with 2 stages of continuous music), Dupont Circle, Tenleytown Main Street, and parks, restaurants, retail establishments and other venues throughout the area.
    • Street Studios, where world-class DJs and producers set up their gear on sidewalks and engage passersby and musicians to join in an entirely improvised music creation session; 
    • Sousapaloozas bring together brass and wind musicians to play the music of "March King" John Philip Sousa;
    • Mass Appeals that gather large groups of musicians to participate in impromptu performances using single instruments such as guitars, harmonicas, accordions, ukuleles, bucket drumming, double basses, kazoos, choral singers, and pBuzzes.
    • Bands Undercover, where bands take to the streets to cover each other's music, and live stream their performances to each other in a unique musical exchange.
    • Drum Set Duos, organized by local drum shops, who place full drum sets on the sidewalk or parking lot in front of their store. A facilitator sits at one of the sets and invites passersby to join in a spontaneous drum set duo.
    • Heart Chant, where people come together to perform a type of meditation that involves vocalization and listening. The Heart Chant was written by Pauline Oliveros in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

    All Make Music Day events are free and open to the public. Once the Make Make Music Day website is ready (sometime in March), participants who wish to perform may register. A full schedule of events will be posted on the website in early June.

    To get involved and for more information, please contact us at makemusicday@saw.org or washington@makemusicday.org.

    Follow Make Music Day DMV on social media:
    Facebook: facebook.com/MakeMusicDayDC/
    Twitter: @MakeMusicDayDC
    Instagram: @makemusicdaydc

    Contact:      makemusicday@saw.org or washington@makemusicday.org

Songwriters' Association of Washington is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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