(Stephanie Swartz / Colorado Daily)

Submit your music

Learn more about the 64 Bit Composition Competition (including how to submit your work) at http://cu-pendulum.com/2014/01/submit-to-64-bit-competition.html.


Impressing someone in 64 seconds or less is not an easy task.

Doing it with electronic music doesn't make it any simpler. Some musicians will try, though, and enter their efforts in the 64 Bit Composition Competition.

Hosted by the University of Colorado's Pendulum New Music program, the contest accepts submissions through Jan. 31 from any current CU students not in the composition department.

There are some technical requirements, but the main creative guidelines are only that it must be original and 64 seconds or less.

"Awesomeness would be the category that we are looking into," lecturer and competition organizer Hunter Ewen said.

The submission form goes further: "We are interested in variety. In style. In creativity. In cool. In the destruction and conservation of theme. In music that yowls and yips and wails and squeals. In screams that masquerade as music."

The composition, even though it has to be electronic, can fit any genre, whether that's dubstep or classical music. What it really comes down to is the originality and execution.

"Technical proficiency," Ewen said. "You know, if you're recording into a mic, are there pops and crackles? There's a category for uniqueness. We want to make sure that everything we get is as unique as possible, and that's part of the composition department's philosophy in general."

A panel of judges will narrow the submissions down to a handful of finalists (they don't know how many yet). Those songs will be showcased as part of the Pendulum New Music concert series, and the audience will choose a winner.

Hugh Lobel, a composition student who also taught an Introduction to Music Technology class, will be among the panelists.

"There's really so much encompassed by the idea of electronic music," he said. "We didn't want to leave anybody out. I think that all of us in the composition department in the School of Music have a large range of interests and tastes ourselves. We listen to everything from classical music, to dance music and hip hop and indie rock, we listen to experimental music, and we wanted to reflect that in the competition."

The 64-second-limit, he said, is a variation on an international composition competition, 60x60, which involves 60-second pieces by 60 artists. Pendulum's change, of course, is a play on tech terms.

Submissions are limited to students outside of the composition program as a way to encourage songwriters outside that realm and see what they can do.

"We're casting a wide net. We're looking for amateurs, we're looking for weekend DJs, we're looking for students from any of the worlds out there," Lobel said. "I think we intentionally want to hear what's happening around the school."

There's one day left for submissions, and if you want a say in who wins, get to the show at the ATLAS Black Box theater on Feb. 26.

Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: twitter.com/AshaleyJill.