Serj Tankian Teams Up with Creative Armenia to Release 7 Notes Challenge
Grammy-Award winning and multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter, composer, poet and visual artist Serj Tankian has teamed up with non-profit cultural organization Creative Armenia to release 7 Notes Challenge, a compilation album highlighting some of the most notable submissions from a songwriting challenge posed to artists worldwide. The 17 song album from various artists is available now on all major streaming and download platforms across the globe.
"The challenge is simple. You've got these seven notes that you have to start with, " explained Tankian. "Your first seven notes of your composition have to be these seven notes. You can make a jazz song, a rock song, a symphony...whatever type of music that you want, but it can't be longer than 3 minutes. The rest is up to you."
When the submission deadline was reached, Creative Armenia, who hosted the competition via the website serjtankianchallenge.com received over 2000 unique submissions in a plethora of genres from all corners of the world. Tankian and a panel of other notable judges (SOAD bandmate & bassist Shavo Odadjian, Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities, acclaimed jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan, Dean of Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA Judith Smith and honored composer Vahagn Hayrapetyan) were then tasked to listen through the overwhelming number of submissions to select a winner.
That they did, and in fact, they ended up crowning two winning submissions, whom split the $5,000 prize equally.
So many great compositions remained. In an effort to showcase some of the worthy songs, the idea of the 7 Notes Challenge compilation album was born, to bring awareness to a variety of artists taking a simple premise plus a few notes and turning them into a cornucopia of musical expression.
Tankian further explains, "All of the inspiration is out there for us to take. If you're an artist, you paint it...if you're a musician, you compose it. The skill comes from the presentation. That's what we learn over the years, how to best present this. This music, this muse, so that it's palpable, it's original, it's appreciated and emotive."
Mexico's Alpha Lighting System, with their prog-rocking instrumental jam "life.exe" and Armenian Mariam Petrosian with her soulful croon on "Here I Come" were voted by the judging panel as the respective winners of the $5,000 prize of the original challenge and are also present on the compilation album.
The unique experiment was originally announced back in October of 2017 with a basic premise and a $5,000 prize.
"I can say that 7 Notes Challenge wasn't really a challenge to me but rather a very exciting and enjoyable process that sparked my muse back to me, for which I am very grateful to Serj Tankian and Creative Armenia," explains Petrosian. " I am very proud of Here I Come, as it feels like I've collaborated with Serj Tankian himself. Thank you Serj, for those beautiful, mysterious and truly cosmic 7 notes".These two very distinct tracks stylistically bookend the wide spectrum of wonderfully diverse, experimental and lush songs from the rest of the contributing talented musicians that make up the 7 Notes Challenge compilation. Below is the full tracklist of the 7 Notes Challenge compilation album and the associated performing artists:
1. life.exe - by Alpha Lighting System
2. Farewell - by Alejandro Gwynn Peña
3. Sweet and Spicy - by Andrés Montero
4. Counting Seconds - by Cygnus Flare
5. Prelude in Cm - by Artashes Baghdasaryan
6. Only Time - by Briar Prastiti
7. Snötäckt - by Cecilia Moore
8. KLOK - by Christophe Reitz
9. Soledad - by Memo
10. Water and Moon - by Synthgirl I-rena & Driezhas
11. Aramazd's Lament - by Jean Belanger
12. Here I Come - by Mariam Petrosian
13. Realigned - by Matt Davies
14. I'm Alive - by PapaFaxe
15. Road to the Sun - by Syune Ghazaryan
16. Siete Notas, Siete Colores - by Tigran Ayvazyan
17. Suicide of Death, Beginning of Life - by Aidin Davoudi