Saturday, March 05, 2011

My Composer Page Has Gone "Live"

What do you look for when scouting for a new song? What helps you make your mind?


Today, I am celebrating because my Watchfire Music composer page is up, and now I want to make it as interactively friendly as possible. Right at the top is my big face, followed by a composer description:
Award-winning composer Steve Schalchlin writes Gospel, rock, theater and country style songs of healing. They alternate between intimate, emotional storytelling songs featuring real characters and stories from today, and soaring congregation-friendly anthems that encourage audience participation. These provide an exciting emotional uplift or prayerful meditation, depending on the need.
Even if you don't buy sheet music, if you're a good editor, especially if you're excessively anal, click through to the songs and look it over for me and see if you catch any mistakes or missing pieces of music.

Available for each song is a lyric sheet, a sample mp3 (sometimes a vocal demo, sometimes just an instrumental derived from a midi readout of the score -- I'll be adding more of these-- for those who want to sing along with the sheet music ), and a sample of the pdf.

Even if you're not a singer, you might find it fun to follow along like that. You can use it to teach yourself sight reading!

It's very exciting to see it all laid out with variations of each song. Notice, on My Thanksgiving Prayer, there are six (6!) different versions to choose from in three different voice ranges -- plus I included all the chord names for guitarists to play along.

There is a pricing system and business plan. You pay for the pdf of the sheet, print it out yourself and then the license allows you to make two copies, one for yourself and one for your accompanist. The choral numbers are individually priced lower than the solo offerings because they need to be able to make copies for everyone.

We fully realize that this is totally on the honor system, and that people can make illicit copies, but Watchfire is finding that most people are happy to pay when they know what the rules are. If you break the rules, nobody's gonna come after you with an ax, but the guilt will lie in your belly like a brick until it develops into an alien that bursts out and kills you.

And, really, nobody wants that.

If you do contact Watchfire, they actively engage with customers. You remember consumer service. It's that thing they used to do back in the stone ages.

Anyway, I want you to look at it, but especially if you're a singer or musician, or event coordinator. Let me know if the site is friendly to you and let me know if there is anything I can do to make it more accessible.

Your friendly neighborhood songwriter.
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