Last month Randy hosted a Tone Poem contest on the platform. A tone poem is generally a short piece that evokes an idea. Based on this instruction, the participants had to let their creativity fly.

In this article, we will tell you about the results and about the host, who, by the way, is a great composer!

The host

Randy is a young composer who joined Flat about a year ago. A fun fact: when we asked other users who their favorite composer on Flat is, Randy has often been mentioned.

"I'm a high school student who sometimes composes music in his free time. I've been playing music for around 10 years and have always found composition interesting"

We were very pleased to know how welcomed he has felt in the community.

"It's a very helpful community, especially the Discord server. Lots of very interesting people with diverse backgrounds here"

🔥 Diversity is truly enriching. And it is one of the aspects we are most proud of at Flat. It's impressive how differently our users compose. And that's the ultimate goal of art, isn't it? To be able to express ourselves authentically and for others to do the same.

For Randy, there is a lot of talent on the platform. However, he does not have a particular favorite composer.

"I don't have a definite favorite, but Aech's Ch.3: A Land Long Forgotten is by far the piece that I'm the most blown away by on this platform"

The contest

✨ Inspired by his own experience in composing Tone poems, "I had written a series of 7 or 8 tone poems", he decided to host a composition to motivate other users to explore this composition exercise and discover what results might come out of it.

This is one of Randy's songs that we like the most:

Randy announced this competition on Flat with this song:

The competition rubrics were:

🎶 How the tone poem is: ie how impressionistic are the melodies and accompaniments and how well does the composer transmit their musical intention (35 points).  

🎧 Musicality: How well does it sound (35 points).

👨🏾‍🎨  Originality (25 points).

👀  How playable is it: if it is humanly feasible to play (5 points).

🎖  Bonus points if you can wow the host: use of innovative musical forms, scales, time signatures, dissonance, etc (10 points).

The results

There were a total of 8 submissions. All the songs turned out beautifully!

Here are a few words from Randy about the results:

"Congratulations to all those who participated and attempted something out of your comfort zone -exploring how to paint a picture with music is not easy. There are 8 submissions in total, and every single one of them is unique in its own way, so I really had a headache trying to pick the “best one”. So here’s an obligatory disclaimer: this is, after all, a competition, and whether you win or lose doesn’t invalidate the hard work you put in or the beauty of the music that you produced. Many of the submissions are of such high quality that I don’t think my own submissions can beat them in my own competition. That being said, not all the submissions fit the criteria of being a tone poem. The whole point of this competition was to encourage people to try something different, so it isn’t exactly fitting to submit something you wrote long ago (this was also an oversight on my part, I should have specified that all submissions had to be new creations). Regardless, I’ll include all the pieces below and provide some critical commentary on each. I encourage everyone to read other peoples feedback and appreciate their work as well"

As Randy says, all of the submissions were impressive in their own right. But taking into account the rubrics and the fact that it was a competition, Hajime & Brass won the first two places.

This is Hajime's Tone poem:

And this one is Brass's:

You can discover the rest of the participants, listen to their scores and the verdict here.

Final thoughts

The art of composition requires a lot of conscious practice. Composing with specific instructions is a great way to study in a fun and creative way. That's why we recommend that you participate in these kinds of contests that are frequently held in our community.

Thank you, Randy, for taking the initiative to make this competition. Also, for enriching our community with the talent that we so admire!

See you next time,