The 150-Years-of-Music-Technology Composition Competition

As could be read in "A short history of recording sound part 1" , published in the first edition of The LAC Times , the oldest reproduced sound fragment dated from 1860: exactly 150 years ago. This sample is a transcript from the 1860 'Au Claire de la Lune' phonautograph recording, by Édouard-Scott de Martinville himself. For this anniversary of 150 years of audible Music Technology a composition competition is organised.

The Linux Audio Conference 2010, in collaboration with the Utrecht School of the Arts and, announces the 150-Years-of-Music-Technology Composition Competition. This competition is open to all composers of any nationality and age.


  • The 2nd prize (new for this competition) has been awarded to Fred Momotenko with his piece "Au Clair the la Lune"

Excerpts from the Jury Report

The jury liked Kawandeeps translation of his concept of the exploration of reframing the noise of the sample. The transformation of percussive sounds into other textures was nicely done. The jury liked the fact that Kawandeep limited himself to the use of the original material as the only soundsource. The jury appreciated the fact that Kawandeep used only Open Source Software.

From the jury from “I'm impressed with the distinctively percussive use the composition by Kawandeep Virdee makes of the source material. It is quite effective, and very different from the strategies found in other creative works I've heard using phonautogram samples, so it rates highly in terms of originality. Despite the thorough transformation of the sample, it still retains enough of its original timbral character - the “noisiness” - for the source to be recognizable and meaningful.”

Taking all this into consideration the jury therefore decided to award Kawandeep Virdee the first prize in the LAC 2010 Composition Competition.

The jury would furthermore like to mention the special and impressive composition 'Au Clair de la Lune' from Fred Momotenko, that was rewarded with the 2nd prize.

About the competition

The intention is that a new composition is made with the theme “150 years of recording sound”.

The original 150-year old “Au Claire de la Lune” sample, found at can be used as a starting point, or download it directly here There is also a free sample package at which can be used for the composition containing 150 years old 'singing samples' titled “Gamme de la Voix”.

  • For the composition process, the use of Linux and/or open source applications is strongly encouraged and appreciated
  • The composition must be accompanied by a (short) description of the work and the use of software and technology
  • Composition submissions will be presented in stereo format (this is also necessary for the website-implementation).

Compositions must be handed in before the end of the second day of the conference: May 2 on a CD, DVD or be transferred from a memory stick. Another submission possibility is by sending a link by e-mail (to lac at, but has an earlier deadline (29th of April).
!! Update: deadlines are extended to the 2nd of May (23h59) !!

  • Patrick Feaster, a member of, focusing on the originality of the use of the sample material
  • Marc Groenewegen, organiser of the LAC2010 focusing on the application of Open Source Software
  • Than van Nispen tot Pannerden, member of the Muziekinstituut MultiMedia (MiMM), focusing on the composition
  • Hugo Verweij, teacher at the Utrecht School of the Arts, focusing on the production and composition


  • Tonehammer has offered to sponsor a suitable prize for the winner in the neighborhood of $79-100, drawing from the SFZ-compatible Tonehammer and Microhammer content. The winner's composition will also be posted on the Tonehammer Phonautograms page, as a second demo and on the webpage as winner of this composition competition.
  • The 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize compositions will be presented on the 3rd of May at the Linux Audio Conference 2010 evening programme.
  • several other prizes, with a total of at least € 400,- can be won, but will be presented only later

Questions regarding the Composition Competition and submissions by email, can be addressed to lac at

lac2010/composition-competition.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/08 02:32 by