TORONTO, February 4, 2014
Musicworks is thrilled to announce the winners of its 2013 contests. San Diego interdisciplinary artist Margaret Noble’s Safer Is Better has won first place in Musicworks’ 2013 Electronic Music Composition contest, and Toronto composer and writer Caitlin Smith (now based in Vienna, Austria) has won first place in its 2013 “Sonic Geography” Writing contest for her essay “The Blessed Streetcar Riders of Vienna.” You’ll find the main details of the first, second and third place contest winners and their prizes further down this story.
With an underground club DJ’s flair for performance and a conceptual artist’s commitment to the rigorous investigation of ideas, Margaret Noble explores in her sound work Frakture the resonance in contemporary society of George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. First presented as a solo electronic–acoustic performance in 2010, Frakture has since evolved into a recording of eight tracks, the first of which, is Safer Is Better. The piece is an audio collage of analog synthesizer, acoustic drums, recordings of health-care protests, contemporary political propaganda, city emergency alarms, the New York Stock Exchange, dice rolling, camera flashes, vinyl record samples, and field recordings of pesticide spraying—all collected during a conceptual investigation that Noble conducted after much in-depth listening to a vinyl record of a 1953 radio-play adaptation of Orwell’s novel.
“It is a great honour to be awarded first place in the Musicworks’ electronic music contest,” Noble commented. “For me, Musicworks has always been a progressive magazine that fully supports the international sound art community.” Noble is profiled by editor Jennie Punter in the Spring 2014 print issue (#118), available now through subscription and on Canadian newsstands in early February. Safer is Better is included on the Musicworks #118 CD.
Caitlin Smith's subtly provocative essay “The Blessed Riders of Streetcars in Vienna” is published in the Spring 2014 issue. “I’m very pleased to be part of the Musicworks awards,” commented Smith, who is also a composer. “This magazine is a great resource for me, a portal to current discussions about experimental music. It’s an honour to be part of this dialogue.”

In 2013, Smith participated in Soundstreams’ first Emerging Composer Workshop in Toronto. She is currently working on a podcast opera, When This War Ends (Or, some questions you may have regarding our recently-concluded engagement in the Graveyard of Empires), as both librettist and composer. Smith writes about music for I Care If You Listen and Bachtrack.
Congratulations to the 2013 Electronic Music Composition Contest winners:

First Prize: MARGARET NOBLE for Safer is Better. Prize includes $500 cash, a composer profile published in Musicworks and online, and placement of the composition on the Musicworks CD.
Second Prize: ADAM BASANTA for Three Myths of Liberalism. Prize includes $200 cash and a composer profile on in 2014.
Third Prize (TIE!): MAXIME CORBEIL-PERRON for Ghostly and Vertiges. Prize includes $100 cash, and a composer profile on in 2014.

Congratulations to the 2013 “Sonic Geography” Writing Contest winners:

First Prize: CAITLIN SMITH for “The Blessed Riders of Streetcars in Vienna.” Prize includes $500 cash and publication of the essay in the print and online versions of Musicworks magazine.
Second Prize: THEO DI CASTRI for “Field-notes from Fort McMurray.” Prize includes $200 cash and publication of the essay on the Musicworks website.
Third Prize: SOPHIE ANNE EDWARDS for “window.” Prize includes $100 cash and publication of the essay on the Musicworks website.
The third edition of the annual contest drew an impressive array of entries from North America and beyond. Musicworks would like to thank jury participants Rose Bolton, Ian Crutchley, Nancy Lanthier and Nick Storring.
Musicworks is Canada’s only magazine that explores experimental music. Two annual contests spotlight new literary and musical talents, offering cash prizes and opportunities to be published and heard.
The 2014 Contests are open now: $25 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Musicworks magazine; $5 each additional entry (unlimited). Contest closes MAY 16, 2014—so turn up the volume and bring on the noise.

Image (top): Margaret Noble at the Santa Cruz Live Loopers Festival. Image by: Mark Hamburg.