Feature in Alabama Life and Times
Entries arrived from England, Germany, Ireland, Macedonia, Australia, Norway, Argentina and 44 of 50 U.S. states.
In the end, the winner of Music From The Moon, a Huntsville-based songwriting contest tied-in with the Apollo 11 lunar mission’s 50th anniversary, came from Gresham, Oregon.
A panel of judges - including Grammy winners Mumford & Sons multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett and former Civil Wars singer John Paul White and Country Music Association Musician of the Year Mac McAnally - selected Maiah Wynne’s song “Show the World” as the winner.
Almost 250 total entries, submitted via YouTube clips, were received for the contest.
As the Music From The Moon winner, Wynne receives $10,000 cash and prizes including a recording session at Muscle Shoals' iconic FAME Studios and a ToneWoodAmp.
Music From The Moon is a collaboration between Huntsville songwriters showcase Listen Local, multi-use development MidCity District, FAME Studios, ToneWood Amps and education nonprofit Urban Engine.
For her winning entry, an indie-folk style composition, Wynne accompanied herself on an oil-can guitar and a kickdrum.
In the YouTube clip, Wynne announces "Show the World," by dedicating the song to "everyone who contributed to the Apollo mission and how they continued to inspire kids from around the world."
Earlier this year, NPR highlighted her entry for the public radio network’s renown “Tiny Desk Contest,” a bluesy twangy song called “Mama.”
Her musical influences include Radiohead, Nina Simone, Norah Jones and The Cure.
As the Music From The Moon winner, Wynne will perform at a July 16 Apollo 11 Homecoming Celebration & Dinner at Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is among those scheduled to attend.
Music From The Moon opened for entries Feb. 15 and closed May 15.
Listen Local founders Alan Little and John Schmitt announced the winners June 15 via a live video feed from their organization's Facebook page.
During the feed, Wynne checked in to describe how she created "Show the World."
"It just all came to me in just almost an instant," she said. "It was one of the kind of magical writing moments where you just feel all of that inspiration and it just happens. I wrote and we filmed it like the next day and it was just super fresh in my brain."
The second-place Music From The Moon entry was "Moon Landing," a moody keyboard piece by Florence singers Thad Saajid and Mel Hodges. New Jersey musician Gerry Rosenthal's piano-based track "See You On The Moon" won third-place.
So contest judges could evaluate songs remotely on their smartphones, Schmitt created a Google Doc whereby White, Lovett and McAnally would viewed each video submission, evaluate it and scroll to the next.
Via email, Lovett said, “I’m very happy to be involved in Music From The Moon as I’ve spent a large part of my career doing whatever I can to shed light on all of the incredible songwriters and performers in the world who are perhaps undiscovered or lesser known. Alan and John have worked tirelessly to do that very thing in Huntsville.”
During the Facebook live video announcement, Schmitt said, “What we’re trying to do is promote local singers and songwriters. We set out to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing to create a body of art and give artists an opportunity to showcase, promote their craft in a platform they may or may not have otherwise have and we’re just proud of everybody’s submissions. They’ve been phenomenal.”