“Songs must have a lyrical depth for me”

On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Zian, Joya Marleen and Lo & Leduc. We wanted to know from Zian and Henrik Amschler what role the lyrics play for the song “Show you”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Zian and Henrik Amschler: “Songs must have a lyrical depth for me”

Zian (left) and Henrik Amschler. (Photos: Jen Ries; Nina Müller)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Zian: For me, it’s quite clear: The lyrics are crucial in determining whether a song can last longer or not. All of the songs that people listen to over and over again for decades, are songs that also have a lyrical depth. That’s why lyrics are extremely important. In the short term, their importance may be equal to that of the music, which is in line with SUISA’s royalty split. In the longer term, however, lyrics are arguably more important because they create an additional level.

So, is the music or the sound more ephemeral than good lyrics?

Zian: I believe that the sound underlines the lyrics more than anything else. If you listen to a song, you must find yourself in a sound that supports the lyrics. You can see stand-alone lyrics as poetry, if they are good lyrics. But, after all, we’re aiming to tell a story in three minutes that might have happened over several years.
Henrik Amschler: I don’t think transience is a bad thing. Lyrics per se are not as ephemeral as music, which always follows trends. However, this is highly dependent on the artists and the nature of their music; in dance music, for example, there is no need for depth in the lyrics – it should rather encourage you to dance. With artists like Zian, on the other hand, it is very important what they say in the lyrics, and accordingly the songs are less ephemeral.

By writing English lyrics, you are expanding your potential audience. But wouldn’t dialect texts be a more obvious choice?

Henrik Amschler: You have to remember that both the Swiss music market and the people in Switzerland in general are strongly influenced internationally, especially by the English-speaking world. What this means is, with certain styles, you can start on a different level with English lyrics than you would with lyrics written in dialect. Many Swiss artists have also shown that you first have to be successful abroad in order to be noticed at all in Switzerland, to be taken seriously.

Do you have a typical approach when you write your song lyrics?

Henrik Amschler: In principle, it’s safe to say that we have a pattern. Quite often, Zian presents me with an idea and asks for my opinion. If I’m excited, I’ll say “let’s go”, otherwise we’ll continue to discuss it. In the process, however, I am then more responsible for the musical aspects. Zian is always in the centre, because the lyrics must come from him, from his personality.
Zian: Yes, because the lyrics have to be honest.

So the credibility of Zian’s songs depends on the fact that when you listen to them, you feel that Zian is singing about something personal?

Henrik Amschler: The lyrical intention must always be recognisable in terms of coming from him; as such, he is more involved in the text than I am; I have more of a supporting function. The song “Show You” was born out of a personal story of Zian, like all our songs.

What is usually the trigger point for the lyrics, for a song?

Both: It could be anything.
Zian: Quite often it is any old situation, and then suddenly you feel that there is something there and that you can continue to work on it.
Henrik Amschler: With Zian, even when writing the lyrics, you notice that he is very musical, he is a multi-instrumentalist after all.
Zian: Above all, it’s about having a strong emotion here for me, putting a lot of heart into it.
Henrik Amschler: Often it’s what we feel like doing, what’s in our head and needs to be put into a text, and then we make the music to go with it.
Zian: Quite often, a word is crystallising and then, we feel which world this song belongs to. That can be sad and still take the direction towards “happy”.

Do you then develop the music and lyrics in parallel?

Zian: Yes, up to a certain point, where it is then worth defining the lyrics, because we have defined the world of the song; until then, part of the lyrics still is an incomprehensible “mumbled English”.
Henrik Amschler: Yes, once we’ve established the framework of the song, we go deeper into the lyrics, and deeper into the production.

Do you sometimes still have to adapt lyrics to an advanced production?

Zian: This happens rarely, because at some point the lyrics are finished; striving for perfection is good, but you can’t really achieve it. First of all, it has to be right in terms of the feeling, and of course it has to fit the music, the world that we have created with this song.
Henrik Amschler: For me, it’s quite clear: I always prioritise Zian with his unique voice and profound lyrics.
Zian: But you also have to understand that we are moving in the pop sector, the lyrics should not be too complex and abstract – people should be able to understand them. The more words you need, the less room for interpretation people have when they listen to the song.

“Show You”
Composition and lyrics: Tizian Hugenschmidt, Henrik Amschler.

www.zianmusic.com
www.henrik-hsa-amschler.ch

Swiss Music Awards: SUISA honours the songwriters of the “Best Hit”
In the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards, the most successful national songs of the Swiss hit parade of the previous year are nominated. The winning song is determined by the audience voting during the TV show. For the first time this year, SUISA is the presenting partner of the “Best Hit” Award, highlighting the work of the songwriters and lyricists of the winning song. In 2022, the songs “Show You”, “Tribute” and “Nightmare” are nominated in the category “Best Hit”. (Text: Giorgio Tebaldi)
www.swissmusicawards.ch
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On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Zian, Joya Marleen and Lo & Leduc. We wanted to know from Zian and Henrik Amschler what role the lyrics play for the song “Show you”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Zian and Henrik Amschler: “Songs must have a lyrical depth for me”

Zian (left) and Henrik Amschler. (Photos: Jen Ries; Nina Müller)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Zian: For me, it’s quite clear: The lyrics are crucial in determining whether a song can last longer or not. All of the songs that people listen to over and over again for decades, are songs that also have a lyrical depth. That’s why lyrics are extremely important. In the short term,...read more

“Music puts the lyrics into context”

On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined via audience voting at the Swiss Music Awards. The nominees for the award to be presented by SUISA are Lo & Leduc, Zian and Joya Marleen. We asked Lo & Leduc about the role of the lyrics for the song “Tribut”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Lo and Leduc: “Music puts the lyrics into context”

Lo and Leduc. (Photo: Maximilian Lederer)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Lo: That’s something you can argue about. In our case, however, they are important, I surely have a bigger talent for lyrics than for singing. From our point of view, making music with Swiss German lyrics is generally more challenging than with English lyrics because the former automatically create a bigger distance to the contents. And if you are using lyrics in dialect, you are only making music for a relatively small audience.
Leduc: The lyrics are our primary craft.

Do you have a typical process when writing song lyrics?

Lo: Very different, everything is possible. Most of the time, one of us has an idea, this can even be the refrain or a melody. After that, we usually work individually, sometimes also together. Towards the end, at the latest, we finish all lyrics together. Sometimes one could call this fine tuning, sometimes also: We write a second verse and then have to rewrite the first one. There is no fixed process, the only thing that has become somewhat commonplace is that I hold an archive of lyrics and Luc an archive of photographs.
Leduc: It is almost pathological how I am trying to categorise our moments because I need some structure in order to think and work within the folders. It is often very interesting if you can place a new idea with the other one this way. What is also important is that we bring our own perspectives to the table. With a new approach, you do not just collect ideas but you also filter out the ideas which could become relevant for the song in question. Then we give the song idea a bit of time to brew, and later on simmer it together some more.

The music of the song “Tribut” is from the producer team Jugglerz. How was the cooperation, especially the coordination of music and lyrics?

Lo: This song is a special case. The idea for the lyrics is about ten years old; because it was unfinished, however, it was just lying around. When we began our cooperation with the Jugglerz in 2020/2021, we listened to many beats and draft songs and came across a guitar riff which simply captured us: Hey, that actually fits to a stone old text! So, we took it off the shelves again, rewrote it and adapted it to the music

Was this old version of the lyrics one without music?

Lo: No, but there was already music for it, and we have tried over the last ten years to make a song out of them a few times, but we always got stuck.
Leduc: It is therefore a lovely example that sometimes the time is not right for a song yet. “Tribut” contains the oldest line of the current album “Mercato”, but also the newest: The end of the refrain was the last bit that we wrote for the album, rather wide splits so to speak.

How clear was the definition of the cooperation with the Jugglerz?

Leduc: Sometimes the line how we share the work between music and lyrics is rather sketchy, but we presented clear versions and realised that their drafts matched ours. And then, we kept adapting our lyrics to the new beat they created.

“Tribut” has a multi-layered set of lyrics regarding what songs can express and what they cannot express. What was the starting point for the original version?

Lo: The basic idea is to find the first verse at the outset; the feeling, to write a love song knowing that you cannot give love its due with it, this kind of contradiction. The lyrics read “but love is no song” (aber Liebi isch kes Lied), this opens the world for this song and ends on the note that music is, after all, just a vehicle to capture such feelings but not quite in such a direct manner.
Leduc: With respect to lyrics, everything was available in the very early version. We then increased the aspect of music so that it is a kind of data storage of memories, even if no music is played. In the case of vinyl of tapes, you can even recognise the pauses between the songs and place them into the overall order.

What was the mutual influence of your lyrics and the music of Jugglerz when it comes to the creation of the song?

Lo: First, we adapted the key of their draft beat, which was a 30-second loop without arrangement. We then adapted the lyrics and fixed the arrangement together with Jonas Lang in the studio: the lengths of the stanza, pre chorus and so on. After that, we had to practically rewrite the refrain lyrics because it no longer worked. We had to adapt the lyrics to the music once more in the end where the original version of the draft beat can be heard.
Leduc: It is there that you can see really well that the reminiscence of this original beat led to the song.

Quite often, a set of song lyrics only reveals its impact, its meaning with the song. What does music contribute in terms of effect with respect to the rather self-evident lyrics of “Tribut”?

Leduc: It places the lyrics into context, a very nice example is the moment where it breaks at the end and changes into a parallel flat key. So what you know is practically changing into a kind of a parallel world.
Lo: I believe this happens even beforehand. The mood is not sad but there is a certain melancholy in the music.
Leduc: Yes, I have the feeling that the very consequent trap aesthetics is helping to create some sort of a counterweight to find a balance so that the resulting song is not a nostalgic one, something that happens too often in dialect pop.

“Tribut”
Composition: Jonas Lang (DJ Jopez), Joachim Piehl (Sir Jai), Martin Willumeit (DJ Meska) (Producer team aka Jugglerz).
Lyrics: Lorenz Häberli (Lo), Luc Oggier (Leduc).

www.lo-leduc.ch

Swiss Music Awards: SUISA honours the songwriters of the “Best Hit”
In the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards, the most successful national songs of the Swiss hit parade of the previous year are nominated. The winning song is determined by the audience voting during the TV show. For the first time this year, SUISA is the presenting partner of the “Best Hit” Award, highlighting the work of the songwriters and lyricists of the winning song. In 2022, the songs “Tribute”, “Show You” and “Nightmare” are nominated in the category “Best Hit”. (Text: Giorgio Tebaldi)
www.swissmusicawards.ch
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On 25 May 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined via audience voting at the Swiss Music Awards. The nominees for the award to be presented by SUISA are Lo & Leduc, Zian and Joya Marleen. We asked Lo & Leduc about the role of the lyrics for the song “Tribut”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Lo and Leduc: “Music puts the lyrics into context”

Lo and Leduc. (Photo: Maximilian Lederer)

How important are, in your opinion, the lyrics for a song?

Lo: That’s something you can argue about. In our case, however, they are important, I surely have a bigger talent for lyrics than for singing. From our point of view, making music with Swiss German lyrics is generally more challenging than with English lyrics because the former automatically create a bigger distance to the contents. And if...read more

“If everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring”

On 25 May, 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Joya Marleen, Lo & Leduc and Zian. We wanted to know from Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler what role the lyrics play for the song “Nightmare”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Swiss Music Awards: “If everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring”

Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler. (Photos: Rouven Niedermaier; Emanuel Muhl)

How important are lyrics are for a song in your opinion?

Joya Marleen: Mega important, lyrics are essential! Olivia Rodrigo, for example, has written very beautiful, but also rather crass lyrics that are right in your face, lyrics where everything fits together; Amy Winehouse also impressed me with the very personal honesty of her lyrics.
Thomas Fessler: Yes, lyrics are rather important, not least because their royalty share at SUISA amounts to 50 percent, that is the same share as that of the music.

Do you have a typical approach when you write your song lyrics?

Joya Marleen: I like to start with words that somehow sound good or convey an idea of where the song might be going or what a story looks like. Accordingly, I may have three words that must appear in the song and then the add the feelings that go hand in hand with them. This can be the way the song is then formed. But mostly, I write the melody to the three words first.
Thomas Fessler: These words already contain the mood of the song. The rest is, initially, “yogurt text”: incomprehensible or meaningless text for places where the text is not yet fixed.

The nominated song “Nightmare” shows how important a single word can be and how it can already trigger many emotions. Joya, did the word nightmare spark the lyrics to the song of the same name?

Joya Marleen: Yeah, along with “Hold on, hold on”, it almost lends itself to providing a sailor vibe, a nightmare on a ship, that atmosphere fits well.

Did the music arise from this, from the rocking of these three words, as it were?

Thomas Fessler: Joya had recorded this refrain, the combination of these words and the melody, with her smartphone in a preliminary version and sent it to me. And I thought, uh, this is something special, you can make a great song out of this.
Joya Marleen: At the beginning, the song had a strong reggae influence …

… which is still easy to hear in the rhythmic intonation, in the swaying of these three words …

Both: Yes!

Joya, did you know what this song was going to be about when you heard the word nightmare? Or did the meaning of the song develop bit by bit?

Joya Marleen: I wanted this word to create an eerie mood. That is why I described this person who is waiting for a nightmare because they were bored. The nightmare is essential for them in life, they are looking for a toxic challenge. The song sounds bizarre, but is actually very melancholy, despite the contrasting vocal part “Hold on!”, and this creates a certain tension.

Did the rest of the lyrics then develop in parallel with the music?

Thomas Fessler: Joya also worked on the lyrics during the music recording, here on the sofa in the control room – and then finished them on the train ride home, as she always does … The lyrics have no clear storyline, they rather create a mood, they are lively and fresh, a bit quirky and also a bit chaotic. And that’s also a good thing, because if everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring. You still have to be able to imagine something when you are listening to the song.

“Nightmare”
Music: Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler.
Lyrics: Joya Marleen.

www.joyamarleen.com
www.571.ch

Swiss Music Awards: SUISA honours the songwriters of the “Best Hit”
In the “Best Hit” category at the Swiss Music Awards, the most successful national songs of the Swiss hit parade of the previous year are nominated. The winning song is determined by the audience voting during the TV show. For the first time this year, SUISA is the presenting partner of the “Best Hit” Award, highlighting the work of the songwriters and lyricists of the winning song. In 2022, the songs “Nightmare”, “Tribute” and “Show You” are nominated in the category “Best Hit”. (Text: Giorgio Tebaldi)
www.swissmusicawards.ch
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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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On 25 May, 2022, the “Best Hit” for the best composition will be determined by public voting at the Swiss Music Awards. Nominated for the award presented by SUISA are Joya Marleen, Lo & Leduc and Zian. We wanted to know from Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler what role the lyrics play for the song “Nightmare”. Interview by guest author Markus Ganz

Swiss Music Awards: “If everything was easy to understand, the lyrics would be boring”

Joya Marleen and Thomas Fessler. (Photos: Rouven Niedermaier; Emanuel Muhl)

How important are lyrics are for a song in your opinion?

Joya Marleen: Mega important, lyrics are essential! Olivia Rodrigo, for example, has written very beautiful, but also rather crass lyrics that are right in your face, lyrics where everything fits together; Amy Winehouse also impressed me with the very personal honesty of her lyrics.
Thomas Fessler: Yes, lyrics are rather important, not least because...read more

Applications for the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp | plus video

For the fifth time, SUISA is organising a songwriting camp in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. It takes place from 4 to 6 July 2022 at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. SUISA members can apply for participation. Text by Manu Leuenberger; video by Mike Korner

At the SUISA Songwriting Camp, pop songs are composed in teams of three to five people each. The teams are put together by the artistic director of the camp. In the morning, we start from scratch, by the evening of the same day a complete demo track must be completed and recorded.

The musical style of the songs may include all manifestations of contemporary pop, which could also be successful in the charts, on streaming platforms or on the radio/on TV. On the one hand, the songs should be usable for the Eurovision Song Contest and on the other hand, they should also constitute material that can be offered to publishers and performers.

In order to fulfil this demanding task in a team with professional songwriters and producers from Switzerland and abroad, one must have solid musical knowledge, be able to deliver a creative performance of a high standard under time pressure and be open to criticism and exchange with fellow composers.

The fifth SUISA Songwriting Camp takes place from 4 to 6 July 2022 at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. The event is organised by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. Pele Loriano Productions is responsible for the artistic direction of the Songwriting Camp on behalf of SUISA.

Applications for the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp

SUISA members can apply to participate in the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp. Are you a producer, songwriter (topliner) or lyricist and you think you meet the requirements in terms of musical craft and skills? Then send us your application, which should include the following:

  • a short biography;
  • meaningful reference songs (mp3 files or internet links);
  • contact details.

Applications should be sent by mail to the address: songwritingcamp (at) suisa (dot) ch
Deadline for applications is on: Sunday, 8 May 2022

Important: Places for SUISA members only are awarded via this application procedure. Those who apply should be able to guarantee that they will be available on one or more of the event days (4 to 6 July 2022). For the time being, the camp is planned to be held on-site at Powerplay Studios with physical/on-site participation of all participants. All participants will be informed in good time about any necessary protective measures or if the event is possibly held in a hybrid format.

Dates and selection of participants

The selection of all artists invited to the camp is made by the artistic director. An appropriate make-up of the participants is crucial for the creative success of the “songwriting sessions”.

Confirmations or invitations and further information on participation in the 2022 SUISA Songwriting Camp will be communicated personally by the artistic director by 26 June 2022.

Letters of refusal will not be sent. Anyone who has not received a confirmation or invitation by 26 June 2022 has not been considered for participation in the 2022 Songwriting Camp.

Experience shows that the number of applications will exceed the number of places available. It should be noted that the application does not create an entitlement to participation at any time. Furthermore, there will be no correspondence regarding the allocation of places. No statements can be made at this time about the implementation of further songwriting camps supported by SUISA.

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  1. Argyle Singh Koncon says:

    Argyle here!

    Would love to join again this year!

    Cheers
    A.

    • Manu Leuenberger says:

      Dear Argyle
      We are pleased that you enjoyed your last participation in our camp. The best thing is to send us your dossier with your application so that we can forward it to the artistic director for the selection.
      Kind regards, SUISA Communication Department

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

For the fifth time, SUISA is organising a songwriting camp in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. It takes place from 4 to 6 July 2022 at the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. SUISA members can apply for participation. Text by Manu Leuenberger; video by Mike Korner

At the SUISA Songwriting Camp, pop songs are composed in teams of three to five people each. The teams are put together by the artistic director of the camp. In the morning, we start from scratch, by the evening of the same day a complete demo track must be completed and recorded.

The musical style of the songs may include all manifestations of contemporary pop, which could also be successful in the charts, on streaming platforms or on the radio/on TV. On the one hand, the...read more

SUISA panel at M4music: What influence does streaming have on songwriting? │ plus video

Today, music is often consumed via streaming platforms. With millions of songs available, individual pieces quickly get lost in the crowd. And songs often have to grab the listener in the first few seconds – the next song is just a click away. Does the distribution channel for streaming influence songwriting? This question will be discussed at the SUISA panel at the 2022 M4music Festival. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Lisa Burth

Gone are the days when music consumers listened to a whole album from the first song to the last in one sitting. In 2021, CDs and records accounted for just over 10% of music sales in Switzerland, according to the industry association IFPI, with the remaining 90% coming from online, of which over 80% is streaming.

The shift from recorded music to streaming is relevant to artists in several ways. In the case of CDs and LPs, remuneration covers the reproduction and sale of physical units in their entirety. Today, creators, performers and producers are paid for individual streams; these only count if a track is listened to for at least 30 seconds. The crux of the matter: For music consumers, the next track is just a click away. For songwriters and performers, this means that they have to grab the listenerʼs interest to keep listening within the first few seconds of a song.

Zurich musician Evelinn Trouble provides a first insight into how composers deal with todayʼs listener behaviour in a video interview.

SUISA panel at M4music: “How streaming is changing songwriting”

The influence of changing music consumption behaviour on songwriters and labels will be discussed at the SUISA panel at this yearʼs M4music Festival. Under the header “How streaming is changing songwriting,” composers, producers and label executives will discuss the impact streaming is having on the way songs are written, produced and released.

The panelists are:

  • Evelinn Trouble, songwriter, singer, producer and visual artist from Zurich
  • Julie Born, Managing Director of Sony Music Switzerland
  • Henrik Amschler aka HSA, songwriter and producer from Zurich
  • Loris Cimino, producer and songwriter from Frankfurt/Zurich

The panel will be moderated by Nina Havel.

The SUISA panel will take place on Friday, 25 March 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at Matchbox in Zurichʼs Schiffbau. The panel is free and open to the public.

The 2022 M4music Festival

After the festival had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was held in a scaled-down form in 2021, the Migros Kulturprozent (Culture Percentage) Pop Music Festival will take place again this year in its usual form on Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 March 2022 at the Schiffbau in Zurich. In addition to panel discussions, workshops and panels on current topics in the music business, numerous Swiss and international artists will also perform at the festival.

www.m4music.ch

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Today, music is often consumed via streaming platforms. With millions of songs available, individual pieces quickly get lost in the crowd. And songs often have to grab the listener in the first few seconds – the next song is just a click away. Does the distribution channel for streaming influence songwriting? This question will be discussed at the SUISA panel at the 2022 M4music Festival. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Lisa Burth

Gone are the days when music consumers listened to a whole album from the first song to the last in one sitting. In 2021, CDs and records accounted for just over 10% of music sales in Switzerland, according to the industry association IFPI, with the remaining 90% coming from online, of which over 80% is streaming.

The shift from recorded...read more

“Musicians in Conversation”: Podcast by Helvetiarockt

Under the title “Musicians in Conversation”, Helvetiarockt – the Swiss coordination office and networking platform for female musicians in jazz, pop, and rock, launched a podcast series in December 2020. The second series starts on Friday 7 January 2022. The focus is on fostering the visibility of role models and on networking within the Swiss music scene. SUISA is a partner of the new podcast series. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi

“Musicians in Conversation”: Podcast by Helvetiarockt

In the first episode of the Helvetiarockt podcast, musician and sound engineer Anna Murphy talks about the creative process in songwriting and her path to becoming a sound engineer: she encourages other women to embark on a career in music production. (Photo: Valentina Mahler)

Anna Murphy, La Nefera, Jessiquoi and Jasmin Albash Natalia Anderson – these are just a few of the female, non-binary, trans and intersex musicians and DJ’s who will be given their say in the second series of Helvetiarockt’s “Musicians in Conversation” podcasts. The podcasts discuss music in general, and creative processes and individual experiences in the music business. In the process, Helvetiarockt is looking to create multifarious role models for female musicians.

The podcast guests and their stories are highly motivational cases in point. They show that there are different paths and possibilities for a professional career in the music world, and that no one taking this step is alone. The podcast does not only address aspiring musicians; it essentially seeks to inspire everyone – including non-musicians – and offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the music business.

The interviews are conducted by Natalia Anderson, a Geneva-based musician, DJ, and journalist from London. In its press release, Helvetiarockt quotes Natalia Anderson: “We are trying to demystify the music business and show that there are many different ways to get involved in music. The podcast is about giving visibility to underrepresented groups in the Swiss music scene – in all their facets.”

Women in the music industry

Compared with their male colleagues, women are a minority in the Swiss music industry. According to Helvetiarockt, the share of female musicians on Swiss stages is a meagre 11%. In music production, women are even fewer – only 2%.

This is also reflected in the share of SUISA’s female membership, which is currently only slightly over 19% of the total. Even if the trend is inching upward – in recent years, the proportion of women among SUISA’s new members was 21% in 2018 and 2019, 23% in 2020, and 26% in 2021 – the gender imbalance in the Swiss music industry remains comparatively high given that women represent over 50% of the general population.

The Helvetiarockt podcast aims to give this (still) minority group of musicians and creators greater visibility and to help and encourage aspiring musicians make their way ahead in the music business.

SUISA partners Helvetiarockt

SUISA is partnering the second series of “Musicians in Conversation”. SUISA has supported Helvetiarockt, financially and in terms of visibility, since 2019 as part of a sponsoring commitment.

The second series of the Helvetiarockt podcasts starts on Friday 7 January; a new episode will be released every second week. The guest on the first episode is Anna Murphy, sound engineer, composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. In this podcast, Anna talks about the creative process in songwriting and the road to becoming a sound engineer: she encourages other women to embark on a career in music production.

To access the podcasts “Musicians in Conversation”, follow this link:
www.helvetiarockt.ch/podcasts

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Under the title “Musicians in Conversation”, Helvetiarockt – the Swiss coordination office and networking platform for female musicians in jazz, pop, and rock, launched a podcast series in December 2020. The second series starts on Friday 7 January 2022. The focus is on fostering the visibility of role models and on networking within the Swiss music scene. SUISA is a partner of the new podcast series. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi

“Musicians in Conversation”: Podcast by Helvetiarockt

In the first episode of the Helvetiarockt podcast, musician and sound engineer Anna Murphy talks about the creative process in songwriting and her path to becoming a sound engineer: she encourages other women to embark on a career in music production. (Photo: Valentina Mahler)

Anna Murphy, La Nefera, Jessiquoi and Jasmin Albash Natalia Anderson – these are just a few of the female,...read more

An inconspicuous medium which deserves more attention

The Schweizer Musikzeitung is so much more than a mouthpiece for Swiss music associations. It has grown to become an inspiring platform where you can find reports on musical topics across genres, languages and regions. Text by guest author Markus Ganz

Schweizer Musikzeitung: An inconspicuous medium which deserves more attention

The Schweizer Musikzeitung sees itself as a platform of the diverse Swiss music scene. (Graphics: Hubert Neidhart / SMZ)

For nearly 24 years the Schweizer Musikzeitung (Swiss Music Newspaper, SMZ) has been in circulation – a long time during which the media landscape has changed radically, keyword: internet. So you ask yourself: Why do we still need this newspaper which is still printed on newsprint paper nine times a year despite having an online presence? Or, to put the question differently: How would you argue that there is a necessity for this trade journal if it didn’t exist yet and you wanted to launch such a project?

Katrin Spelinova, who has been running the SMZ since 2007 as its editor-in-chief, does not hesitate for a moment: “We need a voice for music in Switzerland which is also heard outside the world of music.” She alludes to the fact that politicians wish that there was only once voice for all music associations.

Solid basis

The foundation of the SMZ does indeed have a link to the Federal Office of Culture (BAK). “In 1998, the BAK changed its strategy and cut financial contributions to the music associations”, explains Katrin Spelinova. “One argument was that the music associations should merge their magazines and newsletters.” That is how it was done. In the meantime, the SMZ has become an official notification channel for 12, even 30 music associations when you count the sub-organisations. SUISA is connected to SMZ as a partner and uses the publication channel in order to additionally disseminate its topics in connection with copyright in musical works and the cooperative society.

Katrin Spelinova highlights that the SMZ does not receive any subsidies from the BAK. “We used to be supported by Pro Helvetia, however, when we modernised our online appearance with the relaunch in 2013. Apart from that, our business is carried by the associations and advertising which is very important to us.” The type of financing by associations has remained the same since the relaunch in 2013. “It is a two-tier financing model. Associations require a side package which matches their needs, usually five, nine or 18 pages per year. The amount to be paid does not just depend on the number of these pages but also the number of the registered subscribers of association members.” In which case you need to add that the maximum price for such an annual association subscription only amounted to five Swiss Francs which just about covered the postage. “This income makes up 25-30% of our total income, the remainder stems from advertising and normal subscriptions which cost CHF 70.00” The main share of the roughly 18,500 subscriptions (WEMF 2021) goes to the associations.

Roughly 16 to 20 pages of the associations per issue which are aptly referred to as “basis” are no handicap for the credibility of the SMZ. On the one hand, they are clearly separated from the cover parts by the editors. On the other hand, they do not just contain the usually rather dry association news but also gripping articles such as about tradition and the importance of music reviews (issue 5/2021) or the adorably describe “Don Juan stupor: Russian pianists – gendering not necessary and the paraphrasing about Mozart operas by Liszt” (issue 6/2021).

Schweizer Musikzeitung: Katrin Spelinova

Katrin Spelinova, Editor-in-chief of the SMZ since 2007. (Photo: SMZ)

Katrin Spelinova also points out: “In the cover parts produced by the editors, we are trying to remain as neutral as possible.” The cover parts are split in a self-explanatory manner into “focus”, “reviews”, “resonance”, “campus” and “service”. The filet piece of the printed issue is the theme focus (“focus”) which is not published online. Here, you can read several in-depth texts on the topics such as “Hausmusik”, “wallet”, “voice”, “animas”, pause”, “Corona”, “supporting characters”.

Content without any style boundaries

What is central to the content is the alignment with the target group. Katrin Spelinova: “With this, we clearly refer to the active musicians whether professionals or amateurs, whether from orchestras or bands, including teachers and parents of music students, also people who are generally interested in music.” What’s decisive for picking the topics is that the Schweizer Musikzeitung is meant to be the platform for the Swiss Music Scene. “We report on everything which affects the music in Switzerland, whether that be education, performances, sound recordings or the life of music creators, and not just the life of stars which is already covered in other media types.” We would like our readers to be able look behind the scenes and to receive impulses to think about music in a rather general manner.”

In the last few years, the stylistic spectrum and therefore also the target group were increasingly expanded towards jazz and pop/rock. Katrin Spelinova wants to stick to this expansion. “It is also an experience of the music schools that you cannot make any progress with pigeonholing, i.e. to categorise into classical music, jazz, pop/rock, world music etc. And that is not least because the styles are merging.” This distinction is still made online in order to simplify access. “I do hope that this way of pigeonholing will cease to exist one day and that we will simply talk and write about music and what is associated with it.”

Katrin Spelinova does, however, confirm the impression that the SMZ is well-known in the classical music creation sector but much less so in the pop/rock and jazz sectors, despite editorial efforts with stories from these areas. She is still optimistic: “Due to the merger between the Schweizer Tonkünstlerverein [Swiss Sound Artist Association] with the Verein Musikschaffende Schweiz [Association Music Creators Switzerland], we now have more readers from that sector and expect that this is going to continue to increase.”

The newspaper format and the relatively plain and dry layout are a handicap with the younger readers who are mainly active on the internet and are used to a more attractive and colourful design. Katrin Spelinova is aware of that. “This is surely an issue which we must consider more and more in order to attract the attention of the students at music universities to the SMZ. We attempt to be present on social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But if such a presence is really meant to convince, it requires an enormous effort.”

Print despite online presence

The question still remains why the SMZ still issues a printed edition despite enhanced online presence, is this not somewhat anachronistic? Katrin Spelinova emphasizes that you can also subscribe to the SMZ as an e-paper but this share was very small and amounted to less than a percent of the readers. “It is absolutely important that this newspaper gets delivered to the letterboxes so that readers are reminded nine times a year what their association is doing for them. With our enhanced cover section they also have the opportunity to read something about aspects which they would not actively look for on the internet because it is not even on their radar.” Add to that a business-related reason: “We cannot finance ourselves online. Advertising business still mainly runs via the print issue.”

Schweizer Musikzeitung: print paper

The SMZ is still printed nine times a year on newsprint paper in addition to having an enhanced online presence. (Photo: Pia Schwab / SMZ)

As such you could ask yourself how the online and print versions differ from each other. Katrin Spelinova: “Since we only publish nine times a year, we can provide a current report in the summer break online, which would be too late in the next print issue in September. And what is also very important is that we can place teasers into the hardcopy for longer texts which no longer find space in it and then refer the readers with a QR code to the integral online version. This creates more room to manoeuvre for us.”

The chat page in the printed part where two personalities exchange their view on a topic is rather interesting. This is something with particular online potential. It could nudge discussions with an expansion of the chat as a presented online discussion platform which regularly presents a topic that is discussed by experts in a controversial manner and then could be discussed further by the readers. Katrin Spelinova also sees a chance here. “We have relatively little direct feedback, also not via the commentary function. Last year, on the occasion of the Beethoven anniversary, we presented a work each week and asked the readers to tell us their relationship to or their experience with said composition. But only very little happened, we could not feel much from our readers.”

Bridge function between languages and regions

Thanks to the online presence the news really is news. Here, the quality of the SMZ shows itself by a careful selection such as with notes on insights from music research. Katrin Spelinova mainly looks after the matters affecting the associations and is very well supported by Wolfgang Böhler who many people might still know from the online magazine “Codex flores”. “He has a very good overview over what’s happening in the cultural political arena in the cantons and the municipalities.” Add to that the news from Jean-Daniel Humair who looks after the French part of the SMZ in Lausanne; Pia Schwab also contributes as part of the editorial team. “But it is a capacity problem to look after the French part as extensively as the German part.”

Italian texts are therefore a huge exception even though the exchange between the regions and languages is held high. “We try it, because the bridge function of the SMZ is important. You must not forget: For music creators from the Ticino, it can be more interesting if a report about them is written in German so that they draw more attention in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. We therefore have reported about the Ticino as a peripheral region, this year, we will focus on the Jura, next year about Grisons.”

What would be desirable is to feature more reviews which are important for music creators according to Katrin Spelinova. “What’s decisive for us is that the CDs have a link to Switzerland and are not from superstars which are already present everywhere else. In addition, concert reviews should, if possible, reflect a flow or a phenomenon in several examples. Specifically in one of the last issues there was a text on nine string quartets of Swiss composers who were performed within two weeks in Brunnen and in Zurich. As such you can also convey a context which contributes more than a pure concert review.”

Music associations involved:
Eidgenössischer Orchesterverband (EOV), Forum Musik Diversität (FMD), Konferenz Musikhochschulen Schweiz (KMHS), Musikhochschule Kalaidos, Schweizerischer Jugendmusikwettbewerb & Arosa Kultur (SJMW), Schweizerische Musikforschende Gesellschaft (SMG), Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Musik-Medizin (SMM), Schweizerischer Musikpädagogischer Verband (SMPV), Schweizer Musikrat & CHorama (SMR), Schweizerischer Musikerverband (SMV), SONART – Musikschaffende Schweiz, Genossenschaft der Urheber und Verleger von Musik (SUISA) und der Verband Musikschulen Schweiz (VMS).

Subscriptions

Surprising, fresh and always setting the tone: The Schweizer Musikzeitung can be acquired as a printed edition 9x a year delivered to your letterbox or as an e-paper. The latter is delivered as a pdf by e-mail or can be downloaded in the print archive.

The subscriptions include access to the digital print archive (Articles since 1998).

Annual subscription or e-paper, 9 issues: CHF 70.00
Annual subscription for students with valid credentials: CHF 35.00
Trial subscription (3 issues): CHF 20.00
Trial subscription (3 issue) for students with valid credentials: CHF 10.00

Order via e-mail: abo.schweizer-musikzeitung (at) galledia.ch
Order by phone: +41 (0)58 344 95 50
Order via online form: www.musikzeitung.ch/de/abonnieren
(Text: SMZ)

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The Schweizer Musikzeitung is so much more than a mouthpiece for Swiss music associations. It has grown to become an inspiring platform where you can find reports on musical topics across genres, languages and regions. Text by guest author Markus Ganz

Schweizer Musikzeitung: An inconspicuous medium which deserves more attention

The Schweizer Musikzeitung sees itself as a platform of the diverse Swiss music scene. (Graphics: Hubert Neidhart / SMZ)

For nearly 24 years the Schweizer Musikzeitung (Swiss Music Newspaper, SMZ) has been in circulation – a long time during which the media landscape has changed radically, keyword: internet. So you ask yourself: Why do we still need this newspaper which is still printed on newsprint paper nine times a year despite having an online presence? Or, to put the question differently: How would you argue that there is a necessity for this...read more

SUISA Talks at the Zeiträume Festival Basel 2021

Enjoy ten days of contemporary music and experience how the works, often composed especially for the festival, play with their surroundings, ensnare them or engage with them in a kind of dispute. That is the quintessence of the biennial Zeiträume Festival Basel. Text by Erika Weibel

SUISA Talks at the Zeiträume Festival Basel 2021

Zeiträume Basel Festival pavilion in 2019. (Photo: Anna Katharina Scheidegger)

The fourth instalment of the biennial event for new music and architecture carries the festival title “Die Verwandlung” (‘the transformation’) and offers an extraordinary programme between 9 and 19 September 2021 with more than 20 productions and 20+ premières at more than 30 venues in Basel. Current focal points of urban development are made accessible and exciting new productions by many artists are played there.

Apart from numerous concerts and sound installations, you can also dive into the working environment of the composers during the festival. As such, many SUISA talks take place in the festival pavilion.

SUISA Talks, in the festival pavilion and at the Mittlere Brücke (‘Middle Bridge’)
Greifengasse 1, 4058 Basel
Admission free.

Saturday 4 September 2021
at 11:15, Eleni Ralli & Alexander Grebtschenko – Dialogues & Chimeras
at 13:15, Wanja Aloé – Vor Ort
at 15:15, Marianne Schuppe – Die Summe
at 17:15, Linus Riegger, Clemens Fiechter – Phase 4

Sunday 5 September 2021
at 11:15, Sibylle Hauert (tbc) – H.E.I. Kaserne
at 13:15, Dakota Wayne – Sonic Spaces im Klybeck
15:15 – 16:00, Ah Young Hong (soprano) & Vera Hiltbrunner (soprano) – Poppaea
at 17:15, Jannik Giger – Blind Audition

Tuesday 7 September 2021
at 17:15, Phoebe Bognar & Maria Muñoz – Sonic Spaces im Klybeck

Friday 10 September 2021
at 13:15, Dimitri de Perrot (tbc) – Niemandsland
at 17:15, Paul Brauner – Sonic Spaces im Klybeck

Saturday 11 September 2021
at 11:15, Hansjürgen Wäldele – Son et Lumière: Snurglond
at 13:15, Michael Hersch (composition) & Stephanie Fleischmann (libretto) – Poppaea
at 15:15, Klaus Lang – pflaumenblüten.
at 17:15, Helena Winkelmann – pflaumenblüten.

Sunday 12 September 2021
at 11:15, Eleni Ralli & Alexander Grebtschenko – Dialogues & Chimeras
at 13:15, tbc
at 15:15, Sebastian Mathias, Mila Pavicevic, Meret Kündig – Urban Creatures
at 17:15, Focus topic: IGNM Basel, with Marianne Schuppe & Xenia Fünfschilling

Friday 17 September 2021
at 11:15, Alfred Zimmerlin & Robert Torche – Grenzbahnhof
at 13:15, Michel Roth – Spiel Hölle
at 18:15, Yaron Deutsch (Ensemble Nikel) – Oratorium

Saturday 18 Septemer 2021
at 11:15, Focus topic: Zeitgenössische Musik Szene in Basel
at 13:15, Katharina Rosenberger – Urban Morphologies
at 15:15, Focus topic: Nachhaltiges Bauen

Throw a glance behind the scenes in an open conversation with composers, architects, artists and contributors of the festival.

The pavilion at the Mittlere Brücke is the centrepiece of the festival. This is where you can immerse yourself in the sounds, spaces and themes of the festival in talks, performances, installations as well as at the cocktail bar and meet the artists behind the festival productions in person.

The pavilion (Buol & Zünd), sustainably created with the support of SUISA and planned for multi-year use, will be staged again in a new, transformed form. In the middle of the city, the festival presents itself in an open, accessible and playful way – with numerous musical actions, a sounding cable car, kinetic sound objects and changing cocktails from 3 to 19 September.

Join us and be enchanted by a Basel reinterpreted for you.

www.zeitraeumebasel.com

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Enjoy ten days of contemporary music and experience how the works, often composed especially for the festival, play with their surroundings, ensnare them or engage with them in a kind of dispute. That is the quintessence of the biennial Zeiträume Festival Basel. Text by Erika Weibel

SUISA Talks at the Zeiträume Festival Basel 2021

Zeiträume Basel Festival pavilion in 2019. (Photo: Anna Katharina Scheidegger)

The fourth instalment of the biennial event for new music and architecture carries the festival title “Die Verwandlung” (‘the transformation’) and offers an extraordinary programme between 9 and 19 September 2021 with more than 20 productions and 20+ premières at more than 30 venues in Basel. Current focal points of urban development are made accessible and exciting new productions by many artists are played there.

Apart from numerous concerts and sound installations, you can also dive into the...read more

The sound of the mountain

For the first time ever, the Floating Notes Festival will be held at the San Bernardino in Graubünden this year. Floating Notes is all about experimental music. In this blog, festival organisers and performers describe how the unique landscape is influencing music and the performances. SUISA is a sponsoring partner of the festival. Guest contribution by Elena Rotondi

Floating Notes Festival: The sound of the mountain

The Floating Notes Festival is going to take place from 23 to 25 July 2021 in Mesocco near the San Bernardino. (Photo: Sebastiano Piattini)

Kety Fusco, founder and programme director of the Floating Notes Festival has a rather specific idea what the heartbeat of her festival is going to be: The performers are going to engage in experimental and unpublished sound research that adapts to the place of the performance, taking into consideration their own artistic and musical backgrounds, and that will make it impossible to separate the content of the performance from the place where it has been created. As a consequence, the Floating Notes Festival is going to be completely new event because music and venue will be brought together in a unique performance. Kety Fusco will launch the opening night of the festival at the spring of the San Bernardino (GR) with her electronic harp on Friday, 23 July.

This, she tells us, shall be the manifest of the idea which stands behind the festival: the desire to unite the aesthetics and history of the San Bernardino, to revive a place which has, historically, always been a point of attraction for international travellers and which still pulls many visitors thanks to the untouched beauty you can still find in some places. All of this with a view to the future with the atmospheric, innovative and experimental music which is going to populate the environment and fill it with new meaning.

The performers appearing in the programme have been asked how the creative process was influencing their preparation for the festival and their performance on stage. Camilla Sparksss who is going to perform in the Fonte Minerale in the evening, tells us how she is experimenting with a live set specially for the Floating Notes Festival: “Sounds are created which, in my view, come rather close to the sound of the mountain and its gravitas, with its echoes and its dangers. It is going to be a performance which could be perceived as very experimental by people. But you just have to close your eyes and imagine a journey into the interior of the rocks in order to become one with the mountains.”

It is also interesting how Adriano Koch, a young musician, who is going to conclude the evening on Friday, 23 July, links his appearance to the place where he is going to perform: “It is always motivating to see how a place or a venue can change the energy and the artistic message of a song. As such, it is important to me to record a performance in order to preserve this special moment which will never happen again.”

This festival in Graubünden could not continue without the present of the pioneer of instrumental and sound research: The next day, Saturday 24 July, Simon Berz is going to perform a live concert with stones on the San Bernardino pass. The musician explains: “I have created my instrument TECTONIC from volcanic sound stones which I found in Iceland. The stones are now going to sound in another ‘stone room’, the one in San Bernardino.”

The Floating Notes Festival also excels by an event which connects music and body: a guided meditation by Keri Gonzato who will be accompanied with music by Federica Furlani, alias Effe Effe, played back from a sound recording. A soundscape, just made for meditation at more than 2,000 metres above sea level.

The soundtrack of the festival will be premièred on Saturday, 24 July. Ticino-based musician Chiara Dubey has been commissioned with the soundtrack. She describes the creative process of her composition as follows: “In the beginning, there was the idea that I would probably be inspired by the sounds of natural elements into which I would delve into upon my arrival at the San Bernardino. For example, the rustle of the fir trees or the lapping of the water. Since this concert is my first pre-taste of the mountains after a weird year of communal solitude and deafening silence, I decided that I would look inwards for this piece: I was listening to my thoughts and it seemed as if I was finding an old friend again after a long time. I am sure that I was not the only one who had this experience. And I hope that both for me and all attendees it will be liberating to let this song, ‘Stranger’ rumble in the night of the festival, also because our stage will be surrounded by a spectacular mountainous landscape, by a raw, natural, free beauty.”

The closing act of Saturday evening will be Peter Kernel, a well-known duo from Ticino that will be part of the festival in an unusual context and with an equally unusual performance. As such, Aris Bassetti and Barbara Lehnhoff are not going to perform as a typical rock band but prepare an exclusive DJ set which consists of music from the past and will lead us into the future so that it best resonates in the crevices of the surrounding mountains: “For us, it is a central issue to create a certain connection with the audience; we must understand each other in order to create an unforgettable experience. For Floating Notes, we decided to do something exclusive, something that we usually don’t do. We will not perform a normal concert but an experimental DJ set. We will play music which somehow fits well into the context of the mountains and fresh air and we will try to mix it in our own way.”

The Floating Notes Festival is going to take place from 23 to 25 July 2021 in Mesocco (GR) near the San Bernardino. Swiss artists Kety Fusco, Camilla Sparksss, Chiara Dubey, Leoni Leoni, Peter Kernel and Adriano Koch, Federica Furlani (Effe Effe) from Italy and the Icelandic musician Simon Berz are going to perform at the festival. There will also be a guided meditation by Keri Gonzato. Further information can be accessed at www.facebook.com/floatingnotesfestival.
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For the first time ever, the Floating Notes Festival will be held at the San Bernardino in Graubünden this year. Floating Notes is all about experimental music. In this blog, festival organisers and performers describe how the unique landscape is influencing music and the performances. SUISA is a sponsoring partner of the festival. Guest contribution by Elena Rotondi

Floating Notes Festival: The sound of the mountain

The Floating Notes Festival is going to take place from 23 to 25 July 2021 in Mesocco near the San Bernardino. (Photo: Sebastiano Piattini)

Kety Fusco, founder and programme director of the Floating Notes Festival has a rather specific idea what the heartbeat of her festival is going to be: The performers are going to engage in experimental and unpublished sound research that adapts to the place of the performance, taking into consideration their own...read more

SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021: now open for applications by SUISA members

The fourth SUISA Songwriting Camp will take place from 5 to 7 July 2021 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. It is possible that due to the corona pandemic not all participants will be able to be present at the studios and will instead join online. SUISA members may apply for participation. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021: now open for applications by SUISA members

Teamwork at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2019: start with a blank sheet of paper in the morning and finish with a completed demo track by the evening. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

The SUISA Songwriting Camp offers some of its members the opportunity to team up and compose pop songs under professional conditions with renowned producers and songwriters from Switzerland and abroad. Between 30 and 40 musicians usually take part in the three-day event.

Those who wish to participate in the Songwriting Camp must have well-founded musical knowledge, be able to produce high-level creative output under time pressure, and be open to criticism and exchange with their co-writers.

The challenging task: write a pop song in a team of three to five people within a day, according to certain specifications – start with a blank sheet of paper in the morning and finish with a completed demo track by the evening.

Pop songs with hit potential

The musical style of the songs can comprise all facets of contemporary pop music that could also be successful in the charts, on streaming platforms or on radio/TV. The songs are intended to be offered to publishers and artists or even suitable for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The event, jointly organised between SUISA and Pele Loriano Productions, has already produced several internationally successful pop songs that have made it on to the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). The song “She Got Me”, co-written and sung by Luca Hänni, reached fourth place at the ESC in 2019. The songs “Répondez-moiˮ (Gjon’s Tears, for the event in 2020 that was eventually cancelled), “Stonesˮ (Zibbz, 2018) and “Sisterˮ (Sisters, the German entry in 2019) also qualified. In 2021, “Amenˮ – sung by Vincent Bueno for Austria – became the fifth song from the SUISA Songwriting Camp to reach the semi-finals or finals of the ESC.

Hybrid version of the camp possible

The coronavirus pandemic is still dictating world events. It may therefore be the case that despite safeguarding measures, physical participation of all parties at the Powerplay Studios will not be possible. For this reason, all applicants must have their own technical infrastructure available that would allow online participation. Specifically, you may need to be able to communicate with songwriters remotely using a computer via Wi-Fi, and be able to make professional digital sound recordings and edit music yourself. A Wi-Fi network is available in the studio. Participants must be able to bring their own computers and the necessary (recording) software.

All participants will be informed in good time about the safeguarding protocols and the possible hybrid implementation of the Songwriting Camp.

Applications for the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021

This year’s SUISA Songwriting Camp takes place from 5 to 7 July 2021 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. The event is again organised by SUISA in collaboration with Pele Loriano Productions. Pele Loriano Productions is responsible for the artistic direction of the Songwriting Camp on behalf of SUISA.

SUISA members can apply to participate in the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021:
Are you a producer, songwriter (topliner) or a lyricist, and do you think you meet the requirements in terms of musical skill and ability? Do you also have a solid technical infrastructure (computer that can be connected via Wi-Fi and is equipped for professional digital sound recording and music editing) that you can operate and bring with you? In that case, please send us your application, which should contain the following information:

  • short biography
  • meaningful reference songs (mp3 files or internet links)
  • contact details

Please email applications to: songwritingcamp (at) suisa (dot) ch
Closing date for applications: Monday, 7 June 2021.

Important: Participant places are allocated only to SUISA members through this application process. Those who apply should be able to guarantee that they are available to participate on one or all the event days (5-7 July 2021).

Dates and selection of the participants

All artists invited to the camp are selected by the artistic director. A suitable mix of participants is paramount in the creative success of the songwriting sessions.

The artistic programme director will communicate all confirmation messages and invitations, and further details on participation at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021 by 27 June 2021. Rejection letters will not be sent. If you have not received a confirmation message by 27 June 2021, you have not been taken into consideration for the Songwriting Camp 2021.

Experience has shown that the number of applications will far exceed the number of available places. Please note that an application does not constitute a claim to participate in the event. Furthermore, no correspondence will be entered into in relation to the allocation of places. No information can yet be given about the implementation of other songwriting camps supported by SUISA.

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Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

The fourth SUISA Songwriting Camp will take place from 5 to 7 July 2021 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur near Zurich. It is possible that due to the corona pandemic not all participants will be able to be present at the studios and will instead join online. SUISA members may apply for participation. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA Songwriting Camp 2021: now open for applications by SUISA members

Teamwork at the SUISA Songwriting Camp 2019: start with a blank sheet of paper in the morning and finish with a completed demo track by the evening. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

The SUISA Songwriting Camp offers some of its members the opportunity to team up and compose pop songs under professional conditions with renowned producers and songwriters from Switzerland and abroad. Between 30 and 40 musicians usually take part in the three-day event.

Those...read more