US: Tom Waits, Ornette Coleman, Black Francis and Steve Lillywhite were part of an impressive judging panel for the 2007 International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Songwriters from the UK did particularly well in a contest sponsored by, among many others, Electro-Voice, Cakewalk and Shure, writes David Davies.
UK-originating songwriters won First Place in the Americana, Jazz and Lyrics Only categories; Second Place in the Pop/Top 40 category; Third Place in the Performance Pop/Top 40 and Lyrics Only categories; and a number of Honourable Mentions in multiple categories.
The First Place winners were Ben Kyle for 'The National Side' (Americana), Bryan Tess for 'Before I Fade Away' (Lyrics Only), and Jim Tomlinson and Kazuo Ishiguro (pictured) for 'The Ice Hotel' (Jazz). The latter is one of four songs composed by Tomlinson and Ishiguro (best known as the author of novels including Never Let Me Go, Remains of the Day and - PSN-e's personal fave - The Unconsoled) for the latest album by renowned jazz vocalist (and Tomlinson's wife) Stacey Kent, entitled Breakfast On the Morning Tram.
The 2007 Grand Prize was awarded to Eduard Glumov from Kazakhstan and US-based Z. Mulls for their song 'I'm Not Your Friend'. The two songwriters began to collaborate after meeting on songwriting resource website MusesMuse.com.
More than $150,000 (US) in cash and prizes will be shared among the 59 winners, including $25,000 for the Grand Prize winners, with over $30,000 in merchandise and services also to be distributed.
"Every year we receive so many songs that display a tremendous depth of songwriting skill, and every year I think it is the best yet," ISC founder/director Candace Avery tells PSN-e. "But then the next year rolls around, and it gets even better. I am astounded by the enormous talent, creativity and diversity of ISC entrants."
A comprehensive list of the 2007 winners and the winning songs themselves can be found through the first link below. The ISC is now accepting entries for the 2008 competition, which will include a new Music Video category; further information and an entry form are available now from the ISC website. While the full list of judges has yet to be confirmed, Avery reveals that Chaka Khan, Neil Finn, Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas and jazz guitarist John Scofield will be among the panel members.