Welcome to Sparks & Wiry Cries!!

Sparks & Wiry Cries promotes the advancement and preservation of art song by providing opportunities to its creators and performers. Its activities include: publication of the Art Song Magazine, presentation of the songSLAM festival in NYC, commission and premiere of new works
Creation, and co-production of songSLAM competitions for emerging composers and performers

The Art Song Magazine

The Art Song Magazine provides educative and promotional resources to artists, students, teachers, and enthusiasts while sparking awareness of artistically diverse and abundant song-related initiatives around the world.

The songSLAM Festival

The 2019 inaugural festival is a transformation of the Casement Fund Song Series. Our mission is to present emerging talent alongside established performers in relevant and engaging repertoire.

The songSLAM and our partners

The Sparks & Wiry Cries songSLAM is a unique competition for emerging composer-performer teams to premiere new art song.  Events take place at social venues in cities around the US and abroad. In the poetry-slam tradition, audience members vote on their favorite performances, and cash prizes are awarded.

 Co-directors: pianist Erika Switzer & soprano Martha Guth after a performance for the Cincinnati Song Initiative. Photo credit:

Co-directors: pianist Erika Switzer & soprano Martha Guth after a performance for the Cincinnati Song Initiative. Photo credit:

A Brief History

Sparks & Wiry Cries began in 2009 as a podcast and online magazine with a vision to contextualize art song in the sharing of recordings, interviews, and articles by prominent artists and scholars.  In 2012, the Casement Fund, Ltd. encouraged co-founders Martha Guth and Erika Switzer to expand their vision and curate an art song recital series based in New York City.  In 2015, Sparks received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and grew to include the songSLAM competition and a commissioning program.  Since 2018, the newly renamed songSLAM FESTIVAL and Art Song Magazine are actively engaging in current conversations through insightful publishing, programming, and commissioning.

SPARKS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Margo Garrett, chair
Kayo Iwama, treasurer
David Krohn
Matthew Principe
Paul Sperry

OUR STAFF

Lucy Fitz Gibbon, editor
Michael Hofmann, design
Amy Petrongelli, grantwriter