How to Apply.

For all submissions, proposals will be accepted until March 15, 2014. Early submissions are strongly encouraged, especially pertaining to live music performances, soundscapes and/or sonic installations. More information about the themes of the festival/conference.

A.  MUSICIANS – Composers, Sonic Artists, Musicians, Workshop Presenters

1.  Composers/Sonic Artists. In that this is a Mennonite music festival, we are looking for compositions by Mennonite-related composers and/or sonic artists.  Please submit compositions or sonic constructions which explore music and the environment and which are no longer than 10 – 15 minutes max, accompanied by live recordings if possible.  We will be able to provide certain vocalists and instrumentalists.  However, you are encouraged to provide your own players/singers whenever possible.  A chamber orchestra and an SATB choir will be available, though not for the same night, due to various scheduling constraints. So, unfortunately, we will not be able to do pieces for combined choir and orchestra.  If you submit works for orchestra or choir, the music should be accessible and well scored.  Rehearsal time will be limited. Composers may send in multiple compositions, allowing for flexible programming.  Sending formats are listed below.  Send a short, 200-word biography of yourself. Send music scored for:

  • solo performer (i.e. solo piano, unaccompanied cello, etc.)
  • chamber orchestra or chamber ensemble with conventional orchestral instruments

  • vocal/chamber, or vocal/piano scoring

  • electro-acoustic, including soundscapes, sound installations or other sonic constructions
  • choral – a cappella or with piano and/or limited instrumentation (SATB or smaller)

  • unconventional scoring IF those performers are available

  • multimedia constructions which may bring various media and art forms together

2. Instrumental/vocal performers wanting to perform, let us know what styles of music you would be most comfortable performing.  Send a short 200 word biography. We may also ask for a recording.

3.  Singer-songwriter/folk/rock/jazz/roots/improv/pop/
rap/alternative musicians who consider yourselves Mennonite-rooted or Mennonite-connected are invited to send recordings of your original work for inclusion in the festival.  Mennofolk music will be specifically featured on Thursday, June 5, as well as throughout the festival.  Except in the case of ‘traditional’ musicians who represent certain kinds of ‘roots music,’ we are looking for original music, not covers, unless you are covering a Mennonite songwriter!  

4.  "Songs of Place" - a Special Call for New Songs relating to local ecology.  
The invitation is to pay close attention to your own local ecological reality, wherever you are, and write songs in a folk/acoustic/roots-oriented vein that are rooted in that particular place.  These are not generic "save the planet" songs - they may be songs that celebrate, or lament, or paint a picture, or tell a story of something that is going on in your own ecological "backyard."  The sky (quite literally) is the limit here - think big, but think local!  Send in a lyric sheet and demo recording.  The selected songs will be featured prominently during Sound in the Land. If your song(s) are  accepted, we expect you to perform your music at Sound in the Land.
Submissions for Mennofolk music, including "Songs of Place", will be forwarded to the Mennofolk director, Bryan Moyer Suderman.

5. Workshop presenters who would like to propose a workshop involving live music performances or demonstrations, soundscape recordings and/or sound installations, video or other electronics, interactive group activities, hands-on seminars, multimedia or interdisciplinary events, sonic “happenings” of any description, send a short abstract (300 words or less) explaining your concept, mentioning all co-presenters involved, and listing all equipment, materials, or particular items you require.   Also send a 200-word biography.

6. Sending Formats for all musicians: 

a.  For all musicians and workshop presenters, send an abstract of 300 words or less, describing the music/project/performance you are proposing, including descriptive features, timing and instrumentation of the composition, technical requirements, and relevant performance specs.  Also send a short, 200-word biography of yourself and any collaborative musicians if relevant.   Send PDF musical scores for all scored compositions.   ONLY send sound files by links to a designated: 
(1) website,  (2) YouTube, (3) Hightail, or other internet sending sites.  Do NOT send sound files as attachments via regular email. (For all musicians, do NOT refer us to your website for your biographical information.)  

Send all abstracts, bios, PDF scores or lyric sheets via regular email to  
b.  If you prefer to send scores and/or CD recordings by surface mail, 
send all surface materials to:
Sound in the Land 2014
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Rd. N. 
Waterloo, ON   N2L 3G6 CANADA                                               

Send all electronic texts and links to


1. Conference Paper Presenters. Conference papers will be given in 20-minute slots within theme-grouped sessions during the days of June 6 and 7. All attempts will be made to avoid concurrent sessions. Presentations may include multi-media or live performance aspects, and may use power point, overhead projector, sound installations, and/or any other media. Proposals representing any areas of the environment which relate to Mennonites and their music-making are welcome.  Though various topics are suggested within the schedule, these are all subject to change.  Areas of scholarship for papers/presentations include these and more:

  • ecomusicology (music and the environment) as it relates to Mennonite practices
  • listening to the environment as a naturalist – musical perspectives
  • study/analysis of Mennonite musical compositions of any genre inspired by nature
  • sound studies relating to the natural environment OR sound studies regarding noise pollution issues, framed within Mennonite perspectives
  • Mennonite frugality, economy, recycling as ‘belief systems’, and played out in environmental and musical ways:  i.e., would a cappella 4-part singing epitomize a kind of economy and frugality of musical resources, an ecology of sound, as it were, especially in an era when musical instruments have been considered ‘worldly’?
  • Mennonites subduing or respecting the land? – critical/historical survey of traditional Mennonite land use, farming, and/or ecology practices and basic musical contexts, in Western Europe, Russian, Canada, USA, Paraguay, or other geographical locations where “Russian” and “Swiss” Mennonite have located
  • study of non-western Mennonite sense of land use and ecology, with related musics – Africa, Latin America, Asia, elsewhere
  • hymns and song texts about nature and creation with Mennonite resonance
  • studies combining music, ecology, sociology, technology, with Mennonite perspectives
  • local and/or international environmental challenges and ways in which these may be addressed which incorporate music
  • cross-cultural work on environmental issues and music
  • theoretical or critical studies about environment and music
  • collaborative art forms expressing nature or environmental themes
  • environmental themes in worship settings
  • ‘hearing the earth’ as a healing or peace-making activity
  • educating children, youth, young adults about music and the environment
  • forming proactive networks about environmental sound issues

And the list is only beginning!  Presenters should bring forward as much Mennonite musical context as possible.  Environmentally or scientifically themed presentations will be juxtaposed with more specifically ‘musically’ themed ones in order to encourage further dialogue.

2.  Panel Discussions (and/or Poster sessions).  We have scheduled one panel, “Listening to our environment II – musicians and environmentalists in dialogue” and could possibly schedule poster sessions where work is displayed graphically.  There may be more panels and/or posters you would wish to suggest and participate in.  Please indicate your interest in being part of the “musicians and environmentalists” panel, or another panel or poster session which you specifically describe.  Refer to the list of possible topics, above.  You may wish to do both a paper and a panel or poster, just a paper, or just a panel or poster. There’s much flexibility.  Indicate your interests clearly.

3. Poets/Writers/Other artists. Sessions will be created where Mennonite writing can be combined with music. If poets or writers wish to submit works which can in turn be set to music by composers or songwriters, send to email address below. For all creative writers, we ask that you submit work which deals with our conference themes of music, the environment, and Mennonites.  If your art is visual, dance oriented, or other, please write a full description of your work and how you could envision it being coordinated with music.  Please do not send large files of artwork.  Rather, send links to uploaded materials, or send files via yousendit or other internet sending sites which contain links.

For all academics, panel or poster presenters, creative writers and/or other artists, please submit an abstract (no more than 500 words) describing your proposal, and a short, 200-word bio of yourself. (Do NOT refer us to your website for a biography.) Creative writers may also send samples of possible poetry or short writings to be included.  Send all abstracts, links, bios and samples of creative writing by regular email text or by Word or PDF attachment.  Send to