Along with the wonderful new year 2013, I am releasing a new version of Happy Birthday. With this song I decided to participate in the Happy Birthday Contest organized by the Free Music Archive. Based on the jazz harmonies of my last Happy Birthday version, I composed a new melody and new lyrics for the song in order to render my composition completely Royalty-free (this was one condition for participating in the contest). After some recording and mixing, the final Happy Birthday version for the contest is ready to hit the world’s ears . This time, I performed the full recording using Linux with Ardour2 for the audio recording/mixing and Hydrogen for the drums. This is the first recording with my new James Tyler Varix JTV-59 (in combination with my Line6 Pod Xt Live).
Here is some background information on the contest taken from the FMA website:
WFMU and the Free Music Archive are challenging songwriters everywhere to unseat “Happy Birthday to You” from it’s cultural throne by composing possible replacements. The Birthday Song Contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are simple and catchy, with great earworm potential that can be sung in restaurants, bowling alleys, and even in TV shows and movies – free of charge.
The song “Happy Birthday To You” is the most recognizable song in the English language, but it can cost independent filmmakers an estimated $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and it will remain under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. This is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. It’s time to shake (or at least unsettle) “Happy Birthday” from it’s fortified cultural throne, and replace it with a melody that the children can sing without fear of being served.
Update: The contest is over, my song did not make it, but congratulations to the winners !
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