songSLAM Songbook, Vol. 1


sixteen new art songs

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Perusal Score

About the Anthology

Sparks & Wiry Cries promotes the advancement and preservation of art song by providing opportunities to its creators and performers. Its activities include:

  • Presentation of the songSLAM Festival in NYC
  • Commission and premiere of new works
  • Publication of the Art Song Magazine
  • Creation and co-production of the songSLAM competition for emerging composers, poets and performers around the world

The Sparks & Wiry Cries NYC songSLAM is a unique competition for emerging composer/performer teams to premiere new art song. With an eye to the democratic process and equality of access, sign-up is first come, first served, and the registration fee is nominal. During the competition itself, carried out in the poetry-slam tradition, audience members vote on their favorite performances. Cash prizes are awarded.

First premiered in NYC in 2015, the songSLAM has now been or will be presented in four countries and 10 different cities around the globe: NYC, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Ljubljana, Ann Arbor, Cincinnati, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Buffalo, with even more growth on the horizon. The songbook is a selection of sixteen of the most promising songs premiered since its inception. Many of them were prize winners, though not all.

Songs in this volume

ComposerSong TitleAuthor of TextYear Composed
Daniel Castellanos Nothing at all Henry-Scott Holland 2019
Abigail de Niverville Stars Marjorie Pickthall 2018
Natalie Draper O sea starved Hungry Sea William Shakespeare 2017
Whitney George In New York Johnny Call 2017
Wally Gunn One good life Maria Zajkowski 2017
Meg Huskin Tikka Masala Meg Huskin 2019
Felix Jarrar Walking past a window… Bea Goodwin 2017
Laurence Jobidon Al Claro de Luna Delmira Agustini 2018
Isaac Lovedahl Today there is a spring in me Isaac Lovdahl 2018
Liam Moore Crepuscule E. E. Cummings 2017
Haley Olsen at this time I could not breathe like the others Haley Olsen 2017
Nathan Scalise Big Sky co-written by Jordan Bowman, Madelein Bowman, and Nathan Scalise 2018-2019
Tilen Slakan Ko te ni (When you are not here) Jakob Barbo 2019
Evan L. Snider Invictus William Ernest Henley 2017
Dennis Tobenski Oh HELL No Maggie Smith 2017
Jason Weisinger I carry your heart E.E. Cummings 2016

Audio Samples

Whitney George: "In New York"

Meg Huskin: "Tikka Masala"

Jason Weisinger: "I Carry Your Heart"


About the Curator

Soprano Martha Guth and pianist Erika Switzer have been leading figures in the world of art song for over 20 years, delivering recitals around the world in places such as South Africa, Germany, Spain, France, England, and across North America. Guth and Switzer share a deep connection to the works of living composers: they have premiered dozens of new compositions, including works by Andrew Staniland, Tom Cipullo, and Juliana Hall, who have written new works for the duo.

Switzer and Guth are both accomplished artists on their own; Switzer has performed at New York’s Weill Hall (Carnegie), the Kennedy Center, the Bard Music Festival, and the Spoleto Festival (Charleston, SC), among many other venues; while Guth has appeared regularly at London’s Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, New York’s Lincoln Center, and the Leeds Lieder Festival. Both have won numerous prizes and awards, and are prolific teachers: Guth is on the faculty of Ithaca College and SongFest, while Switzer is on the music faculty at Bard College and the Graduate Vocal Arts Program of the Bard College-Conservatory of Music.

Together, Guth and Switzer founded Sparks & Wiry Cries, a global platform dedicated to art song, spanning the publication, live performance, and commissioning of new works, in 2009.;



A Note on Binding

To adhere to recommendations by the Music Library Association, and to aid in library shelving, the NewMusicShelf Anthologies are perfect bound books. Since perfect binding frequently prevents books from lying flat (which is especially helpful for pianists), you may choose to have the anthologies rebound for use in performance. Most copy shops are able to - quickly and cheaply - shave off the spine of a perfect bound book and rebind it with a coil/spiral. Coil binding is usually preferable to comb binding in this instance because coils preserve the pages better, and turn more quietly, provided that the coil is wide enough to accommodate page turns.

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 1 × 8.5 × 11 in


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