The SCL Global SongDemic: An Adventure in Songwriting


By Adryan Russ, SongArts Chair

The onslaught of COVID-19 has created many challenges in our lives causing us to think outside the box – except for Zoom, of course, which puts us inside a digital box but allows us to remain creative.

The Society of Composers & Lyricists came up with the idea to invite songwriter members to submit one song, which would entitle them to be paired with another songwriter they’d never met – and write a new song. As it turned out 52 songwriters responded from around the world, including Australia, the UK, Ireland, Turkey, and in the U.S.: Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Los Angeles. We didn’t want to turn anyone down, so, based on their song submission, we paired them up and created The First SCL SongDemic, named by President Ashley Irwin.

A deadline was set to submit their songs, and on June 27, 2020, the songwriters gathered, we all listened to the 25 songs, and had a great time acknowledging and supporting one another. We realized, however, that as a private event among just those songwriters, nobody else heard these songs, so the SongArts Committee decided to invite music supervisors to hear them.

As with many SCL events, there are many people to thank – those who set up these events, those who work behind the scenes and provide rehearsal time for setting up sound and video so they are at their best, and those who simply support. The LA and NY events could not have happened without the help of Ashley Irwin, Mark Smythe, Marie Kingsley, David Das, Nono Chen, Greg Pliska, Greg Sgammato, Tyler Traband, and Tareq Abuissa.

On October 7, 2020, prolific music supervisor, record producer, and label co-founder Tracy McKnight (TM Supervision) and award-winning series music supervisor Jackie Mulhearn (SueperVision/August Music) joined us for SongArts Sync Session #9, to hear half of the SongDemic songs, moderated by SongArts LA Chair Adryan Russ. Members can view the LA SongDemic event here.

Here are the songwriters and their songs:

George Shaw & Elise Solberg “My Superpower”
Deborah Ward & Ned Paul Ginsburg “Find You Dancing”
Arhynn Descy & Gene Micofsky “Race To The Bottom”
David Das & Joelle Sahar “Something Good”
Marie Kingsley & Matt Citron “Your Love”
Juliet Lyons & Matthew Hurewitz “Somehow I’ll Know”
Chris Wirsig and Daniel E. Wakefield “Time Running”
Greg Sgammato & Mark Cross “Here With You”
Bronte Horder & Bryson Kemp “Stardust”
Angela Parrish & Robin Share “Dreaming of You”
Rachel Malony & Rivita Goyle “Not Alone”
Diana Nassar & Lionel Cohen “To The Highlands”

The supervisor feedback was generous and instructive. As an educational organization, The SCL not only looks for ways to get our members’ work out in the world, but also to instruct on how to write the best material.

On October 13, 2020, Grammy Award winner Ed Gerrard (Impact Artist Management) and TV/film composer and music supervisor Adonis Tsilimparis (Cutting Room Music) joined us for Sync Session #10, listening to the other half of the SongDemic songs, in New York, moderated by SongArts NY Chair Elizabeth Rose. Members can view the NY SongDemic event here.

The songwriters and links to a taste of their songs:

Bill McFadden & Brian Moe “What Is The Color of Friendship?”
Nella & Tamara Miller “Just Breathe”
Aaron Kaplan & Donna Wintergreen “When You Believe”
Darren Smith & Paul d’Amore “Call My Name”
Carol Weiss & Shelley Fisher “Don’t Worry, Dahlin’”
Nadeem Majdalany & Nono Chen “Rock The Party”
Aaron Turner Hornton & Andrew M. Edwards “Fade To Black”
Autumn Maria Reed & Richard Albert Leddy “Love Travel”
David Bertok & Dexter Giffard “Heart Song”
Gabriel Pontón & Jason Soudah “Can’t Hold Us Down”
Esin Aydingoz & Jordan Reynolds “A Different Sky”
Edward Auslender & Dika Chartoff “Let Me Breathe”
Nicole Yazmin Jacobus & Randall Shattuck “Clare’s Sojourn”