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‘PeaceSongs CNY’ contest seeks socially aware submissions

— The Syracuse Peace Council is seeking submissions of original and traditional songs to be compiled into “PeaceSongs CNY” a CD that will commemorate the SPC’s 75th Anniversary and highlight local talent and activist spirit.

Local artist and musician Amber MacDuffie said her inspiration for the project came out of looking for a way to channel her own compassion into a productive outlet.

She and her husband have performed original rock music locally as A Couple Strangers, but she had a growing repertoire of acoustic songs with social themes that she wasn’t quite sure what to do with.

“I asked myself, ‘what kind of activist do I want to be?’” MacDuffie said. “I’m a musician and I realized, music has been really at the core of a lot of social missions.”

MacDuffie took her compilation concept to the Syracuse Peace Council, “and they loved the idea,” she said.

Now, the PeaceSongs CNY project is accepting recordings of original songs or public-domain traditional covers of any genre that illustrate a theme of peace and social justice.

Selections for the final recording will be made this fall, and the CD will be released in early 2012. More Sound Studio’s Jocko has offered to master the tracks to polish the final product, but MacDuffie said the “closer to finished” submitted recordings are, the better.

In an effort to include artists of all experience levels, though, organizers are looking for help from local studios who might be willing to help out on the recording side of things, if necessary, she said.

“I don’t want it to be only for local musicians,” MacDuffie said. “It really is for the community. You don’t have to be a well-known local musician to send this in or have it on the recording.”

She said she hoped the project would involve youth, school choirs and singing groups, and the schools.

“Why not give others a voice? I think there’s a lot of people in Central New York that have something to say,” MacDuffie said.

All submissions, even those not chosen for the final recording, will be posted online for listening. The deadline to submit a recording is Oct. 1. Submit an electronic recording to peacesongscny@gmail.com or mail a CD to Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY, 13210. For more submission guidelines, visit peacesongscny.com.

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