It is always a pleasant surprise to see how our community interacts. It is one of the driving forces that make us want to improve what we do every day. A few weeks ago, Joshua Goldstone, better known as Earther in the community, hosted a fascinating challenge on our platform.  He invited the participants to create a score imitating another user's style.

Today I want to talk about that contest, the process of imitation as a method to grow as a composer, and other topics we discussed during our interview with Joshua.

The host

Joshua, an 18-year-old composer and cellist, started with music at an early age.  As a second-grader, he started playing the piano, but it has been more than seven years since the cello became his main instrument. This young artist loves music and has decided to take his passion to the next level and become a music educator, which is exciting!

Joshua joined our community years ago, and now, in addition to creating beautiful music, he moderates a Discord server regarding composition and has hosted some contests on Flat.

The challenge: "to write outside of your usual style and imitate another Flat user"

The challenge was to imitate another composer's way of creating. Each participant chose a composer in Flat, and Joshua had to guess who each participant was imitating.

You can check the participants, the scores, and the results here.

"I wanted to do a contest like this because I noticed a lot of people, including myself, that we tend to follow to some creative habits when composing, and I think it is kind of fun to try to break those and discover a part of composing that you wouldn't think to explore before"

Get out of your comfort zone to grow as a musician and composer

🤯 These practices make you think differently, create differently, break your habits and expand your capabilities.

We agree with Joshua that there should be more competitions, challenges of this type.

What makes a challenge interesting is:

  • It is daring
  • It makes you reflect on what you are doing
  • It makes you create something new in a way you are not used to
  • It is engaging

So, if you are thinking of hosting a challenge in Flat, take that into account. Don't just propose to create a score of x amount of bars, so that it is eye-catching and I am sure that more participants will join in.

Nice surprises

Some imitations were so accurate that Joshua would not have noticed it was an imitation. Others, while not quite as successful in imitating the chosen composer, ended up being beautiful pieces! For example: Achieving The Impossible by Red.

One thing the host enjoyed was discovering composers he had not heard before as Cattywampus. This surprises us every day! It is so touching for us to discover wonderful music created by such talented users.

The best imitations

According to Joshua, the best imitations were:

Future contests

If you want to stay up to date and participate in future contests hosted by Joshua, join the Discord. Challenges to come and instructions will be announced there.

Final thoughts

We asked Joshua if he had any tips or anything to share with the rest of the community. What he said struck us. He mentioned that every musician has to stop focusing on being consistent in posting new music. We need to remember that creating music should be fun, that art requires time and patience. Also, he encourages you to explore new ways of composing and not be afraid to get unconventional and weird with the way you create.

This is a wise piece of advice!

Thank you Joshua for being part of our community.

See you next time,

Here you can watch the interview: