Number of Entrants: 53
This competition has been completed.
Results Are In! Winner: Andrew Aversa!
Scoring Report/Arrangement Downloads | Judges Comments
In the News:
As many of you may know, December, 2007 marks the 20-year anniversary of the illustrious Final Fantasy series. It's hard to believe that for the last 20 years, gamers of all ages have been scampering about on Chocobos, traveling the globe in airships, collaborating with furry Moogles, and summoning the likes of Shiva and Bahamut to their aid. For fans of the series' musical scores, the legendary Nobuo Uematsu has been just as much of a Final Fantasy mainstay as any of these things. To honor Mr. Uematsu for providing us with more than two decades worth of gripping, emotional, and downright excellent musical works, and kick off the United States debut of the new "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" concert series, we would like to present the biggest competition we've ever put on: The 2007/2008 SquareSound Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu Arrangement Competition!
Each contestant must submit an arrangement in either MP3 or MIDI format of a piece originally composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Note that the competition isn't limited to the Final Fantasy series. For example, you may choose to arrange something from Blue Dragon, or the upcoming Lost Odyssey. The arrangement can be for any instrument or instruments, must be complete, and must be entirely the contestant's own work. Previously created work that has already been submitted to SquareSound or other websites may not be used. The work must be new and original.
The winner of this competition will receive two (2) VIP tickets to the "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" concert that will take place on March 1, 2008 at the Rosemont Theater in Chicago, Illinois along with a copy of Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream courtesy of our friends at OverClocked ReMix. The VIP tickets (valued at $150 USD each) entitle the recipient to prime seats near the front of the stage, a concert program, a CD recording of the concert, and the ability to attend a "meet-and-greet" session with Nobuo Uematsu himself after the concert. For situations in which the winner is unable to attend the concert due to other obligations or geographical barriers, a to-be-disclosed alternate prize will be awarded.
Five runners-up will also receive copies of Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. Only 200 of these exclusive CD sets have been printed!
The Judging Process
A qualified panel of four judges will score each entry using the criteria outlined below. Each piece will be given a numbered rating between one (1) and one hundred (100) based on the weighted average scores of the three categories. The final scores of all judges will then be averaged to determine the winner.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of entrants and the limited amount of time available for judging, providing detailed comments and judging reports for each arrangement won't be feasible. Judges will only be required to submit ratings for each arrangement. To prevent personal favoritism or bias, each submission will be assigned a number and file names will be changed. The judges will not be aware of which piece is composed by whom until after submitting their reports.
The format for judging will be divided into three categories, inspired from past competitions but with the intention of being somewhat streamlined. It is as follows:
Technique: Grade the piece's technical merit. Its fluidity and confidence can all play a part, but complicated music will not be rewarded over simplicity if both attempts are equally adept. This section may be dropped by the judge if he or she feels either uncertain or uncomfortable on the subject.
Musicality: Grade the success of the piece's musical direction. Analyze context, sensitivity, lyricism, and the overall intended effect from the composer's point of view. Try to determine whether the composition works in relation to its source, itself, and its own aesthetic and proportion rather than on preference.
Personal Tilt: Grade based on opinion. This is the chance to influence the score on taste; promising works that perhaps had a few rough edges can be raised, others lowered, within reason.
Each area will receive a mark between 1 and 100, and all three scores will be averaged to determine the judge's final score. Commentary may be provided, but is not a requirement. Admittedly, the line between technique and musicality is blurred; since music is arguably both an art and a science, the judgment of the panel will be trusted.
Contestants must register for the competition by Saturday, January 26, 2008 to be considered for the contest. Registration involves filling out a form (link below) to notify us of your interest in competing and providing us with your contact information. You need not have selected the piece you wish to arrange in order to register, and applicants are free to change their piece selection or withdraw from the contest at any time. Once registered, contestants may begin work on their arrangement immediately.
Your finished arrangement must be submitted to us no later than Friday, February 8, 2008. This is already cutting it close for people who may need to make travel arrangements, so this deadline is firm and will not be adjusted. Within a week of receiving all submissions, the winner will be determined and notified. The full results will be posted on the website shortly thereafter.
The Fine Print
By registering to participate in this contest, you agree to allow SquareSound to post your name on the website, and grant us the rights to post your arrangement in our Arrangement Archive regardless of whether you are the winner or not. The contest is open to everyone except where prohibited by law. Airfare, hotel, and other expenses (if applicable) are not included in the prize package.