EXPO: New Works Competition

Art Beyond the Ink

Art Beyond the Ink is guided by the philosophy that every piece of music tells a story. We want to bring YOUR story to life.

In the inaugural year of EXPO: New Works Competition, we seek composer submissions to be paired with interdisciplinary performance in a multi-media narrative film.

Submissions will be accepted from July 1 – Aug. 15, 2021. PLEASE NOTE: we will close on or before the deadline if we receive 100 submissions. Winners will be announced in early September.

Sketches of Love, directed by Em Messana, is our latest film which pairs a classical violin sonata with contemporary dance. You can watch the video here.

If you are familiar with our previous work, you may recognize that we often produce content for children. These videos will NOT be for young audiences, but subject matter of stories will remain appropriate to all ages.

All submitted works will be considered for future projects.

This year, three winners will be selected with prizes as follows:

  • GRAND PRIZE: $1,500 + COMMISSION for new work (5-7 minutes) to be used in a collaborative video project (Composer may choose to assist with story/preference of interdisciplinary pairing)

  • SECOND PRIZE: $450 + VIDEO PROJECT to be made with existing, submitted score (story/interdisciplinary pairing is at the discretion of ABI)

  • THIRD PRIZE: $250 + VIDEO PROJECT to be made with existing, submitted score (story/interdisciplinary pairing is at the discretion of ABI)

All three winners will also receive high quality audio recordings of their work, recorded at Skillman Music in Brooklyn, NY.

Application Process:

The application is free and has no age restrictions. Please submit one work of ANY genre/style that is:

  • for 1-5 players (must be able to be performed and recorded in-studio by live people – no fixed media!)

  • 4-10 minutes long

  • written in the last 10 years

This competition is only open to early-career composers. We describe an “early-career” composer as someone who is in school, a recent graduate, or someone who pursues composition as a hobby or side gig.

PLEASE NOTE: We produce instrumental music, so we will not accept submissions with lyrics. If vocals are included, they must be wordless or scatted vocalizations only. Minimal poetry/spoken word is allowed so long as content is original or in the public domain (failure to comply with this will result in disqualification). If using original words that are NOT your own, by someone close to you, you must submit a written letter of permission from the creator who wrote the words.

The submission should not currently be published. All rights to the work must be owned by you.

MIDI or recorded files are highly encouraged to include in your application, if available. With prepared materials, the application should take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete.

Once You’ve Applied:

Submissions close on August 15, 2021. Winners will be announced in early September. We will contact all applicants about the results of the competition. The winning films will premiere at an awards ceremony in May 2022.

IMPORTANT: Prize money will be awarded to the winners immediately, and audio recordings will follow within 1-2 months of the winner’s announcement (or in the grand prize winner’s case, within 1-2 months upon receipt of the finished commission, depending on difficulty level of parts). Please do not expect a finished film until the premiere date – we will be working during that time to ensure the highest possible quality!

Please email artbeyondtheink@gmail.com with any questions concerning the competition or application process.

For more information, check out our application guide. 

Have questions? Attend an open Zoom forum on July 12th @ 8pm EST.

Presentations from the forum will be recorded for those who cannot attend synchronously. If you would like this recording, please indicate so on the registration. Register here.