Sunday, August 5, 2012

Photo Finish (Spintunes 5 Round 4 Challenge)

Here's the latest SpinTunes challenge:

Photo Finish - Write a song inspired by the photo below:


(2 minute minimum) (your submission is due August 12th 11:59PM)

Let me say first that I am 100% in favor of the "Photo Finish" concept for SpinTunes. It's a great promotional "hook"; and there is no end to the number of challenges that can be made. Point your camera anywhere in the Known Universe and you are bound to find something fascinating. Best of all, it gets the best of the competitors the opportunity to exercise their creativity to a much greater extent than a limited textual challenge. You can bring all of your musical tools to bear, and use them as you choose.

That said, I was initially a little non-plussed by the (pardon the pun) pedestrian nature of this photo. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that having less in the photo makes it more difficult to bring a unique approach to the task. I can appreciate the judges making the final challenge as daunting as possible.

I will note this: the challenge says "...inspired by the photo...". To me, this is a clear indication that you're not limited to this image. We'll be asking ourselves questions like these:
  • Where are we? Are you sure?
  • What's going on outside the photograph?
  • Who left the footprint?  Where is (s)he going?  Where did (s)he come from?
  • Is the footprint really the most important thing in the photo? What else do we see? (The photo is larger than what's displayed on the web page... clicking on it enlarges it.)
  • Is this really a footprint? Or is it a symbol for something else?
  • What will happen to the footprint?
It's tempting to say, "well, inspired by is a wide-open court", and just do what you want and rationalize it after the fact. Indeed that would work well for some judges... the ones for whom the challenge is just a checkmarked formality prior to judging you on everything except how well you did what you were asked.  But you're not getting judged by judges this round. You're getting judged by all the people you've beat to get here, and you're going to have to impress them.

For me personally, hiding behind "inspired by" would be a cop-out, and a really poor excuse for an entry.  I hope to have something you can hear and say, "Yeah, I see how you got there!" or better yet, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Believe me there are a lot of possibilities here. For our part, the necessary discussions have been made, emails exchanged, and the ball's in William's court. Let's see what happens.


3 comments:

BoffoYuxDudes said...

'Inspired by' as a cop out?

Nay, I say. That's the challenge in itself!

Dave Leigh said...

Well, you already know how far I can stretch this. I'm curious as to what Willy's going to have for me, though... and I'm still reserving the possibility of foregoing a "Dr Lindyke" response to this one in favor of doing a cover that's been long-anticipated by Spintown.

Depends on how it goes at my day job.

Dave Leigh said...

Besides, I said "HIDING BEHIND 'inspired by'" would be a cop-out. Not grabbing 'inspired by' with both hands and wielding it like a Louisville Slugger. That's PERFECTLY acceptable.

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