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“SUISA Day” at the Murten Classics Festival proves a resounding success

The programme of the Murten Classics Festival included a full day of contemporary music on 25 August 2018 as part of the concert series “Offen für Neues”. The concert day, supported by SUISA and recorded by Radio SRF 2 Kultur, met with a positive response all round. Text by Manu Leuenberger

Belenus Quartett: “SUISA Day” at the Murten Classics Festival proves a resounding success

In the third and final concert of the “Offen für Neues” series on 25 August 2018 at the Murten Classics Festival, the Belenus Quartet performed works by Daniel Schnyder, Cécile Marti, Iris Szeghy and Marco Antonio Perez-Ramirez. (Photo: Willi Piller)

The programme for this outstanding day of concerts at the Murten Classics Festival began early, with guests arriving in numbers at the Kultur im Beaulieu (KiB) concert hall in Murten in time for the opening speech by the musicologist Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret at 10:00 am. The three-concert series, featuring works by 13 contemporary composers, attracted interest from far beyond the region’s borders. In a review published two days after the event, the “Freiburger Nachrichten” wrote: “There was hardly a spare seat inside the cultural centre.”

The festival guide had announced the SUISA-supported day of concerts in the “Offen für Neues” series as “a day of encounter”. This proved to be true in several respects on the day itself on Saturday, 25 August 2018: thanks to the wide range of works performed, the audience had a chance to discover the tonal variety of the contemporary compositions. Many of the composers whose pieces were played had travelled to Murten themselves, where they provided insights into their musical philosophy in short introductory speeches. The musicians in attendance also engaged in lively discussions during the breaks between the three concerts.

Well organised, interpreted and integrated

One of the ideas behind the day was “not to try and impress with premières, but instead to show a broad musical spectrum”, explained Roman Brotbeck, who as the moderator guided the audience through the programme. Andreas Zurbriggen praised this approach in his review in “Schweizer Musikzeitung” (September/October 2018). According to him, there are enough world premières, but the same cannot be said of second and third performances of contemporary pieces. Zurbriggen believes the organisers succeeded in their aim, with the artistic director, Kaspar Zehnder, demonstrating his talent for putting together a programme and “allowing different worlds to collide”. “And the interpretations, such as those of the Belenus Quartet, the pianist Gilles Grimaître and Ensemble mit vier, were of a very high standard”, wrote the reviewer in the same article.

The review of the concert day in the “Freiburger Nachrichten” concluded by saying: “It’s good that there is a place for these kinds of experiments in the festival programme alongside the popular concerts.” The ambitious “Offen für Neues” one-day project of the Murten Classics Festival and SUISA met with a positive response all round, as also shown by the feedback from the participants below.

In its programme “Neue Musik im Konzert” on Wednesday, 7 November 2018 at 9 pm, Radio SRF 2 Kultur will play excerpts from the three concerts held on 25 August 2018.

Katrin Frauchiger

In her short introductory speech, composer Katrin Frauchiger from Berne explained her piece “Mare nostrum” for flute and string trio, which was subsequently played in concert. (Photo: Willi Piller)

Katrin Frauchiger, composer and singer, lecturer HSLU:

“As a composer, I greatly appreciate the joint commitment made by Murten Classics and SUISA in hosting an entire day of contemporary music. The organisers’ courage in sending out an important message within the context of the Murten Festival paid off in every respect: the event attracted a large audience of extremely interested people who were open to new music.
Three fresh, carefully curated concerts were presented with a speech and introduction, and each had an inspiring theme for the listener: Waves from another world / Immigration-Emigration / Roots and great places. In a conversation with Roman Brotbeck, I had the opportunity to personally introduce my piece ‘Mare Nostrum’ and thus open the door to a beautiful performance of my music. The other composers present also had the same opportunity. The interaction between the audience and the composers was equally valuable, some of whom had travelled from afar.”

Irene Minder-Jeanneret

“An architect can make a living from their compositions, but this is hardly true for a composer”, said the musicologist Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret during the opening speech, going on to explain why Swiss music artists deserve more recognition. (Photo: Willi Piller)

Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret, musicologist, member of the Dictionary of Music in Switzerland steering group:

“SUISA Day offered a valuable and rare tour of both the music industry and the cultural-political significance of music in Switzerland. It illustrated the gap between the lively and exceptional musical reality in our country and the lack of political recognition. Although a third of the population is actively involved in making music, Switzerland is still not perceived as a musical country. Creating, making, teaching, distributing and documenting music are equal facets of an important cultural sector, and they deserve to be recognised, promoted and made known at all political levels. Just as in the film industry, there are some activities in the musical field that cannot be supported by the cantons alone.
As a member of the Dictionary of Music in Switzerland steering group, SUISA Day gave me a unique opportunity to talk to participants from all areas of music. Without doubt, the event also helped to raise awareness of the individual concerns.”

Kaspar Zehnder

The artistic director of the Murten Classics Festival, Kaspar Zehnder, also played the flute at SUISA Day. (Photo: Willi Piller)

Kaspar Zehnder, artistic director of Murten Classics and curator of the first ‘SUISA Day’ on 25 August 2018:

“The heterogeneity and diversity of the programme made for an interesting and exciting day. Through combination of a wide variety of aesthetics, it provided the perfect stage for the audience, composers, presenters and performers to engage in lively discussions, or to enjoy a slice of Murten cream cake and a glass of red wine from Vully in rapt silence.
At the very least, SUISA Day should become a biennial tradition at the Murten Classics.”

www.murtenclassics.ch

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The programme of the Murten Classics Festival included a full day of contemporary music on 25 August 2018 as part of the concert series “Offen für Neues”. The concert day, supported by SUISA and recorded by Radio SRF 2 Kultur, met with a positive response all round. Text by Manu Leuenberger

Belenus Quartett: “SUISA Day” at the Murten Classics Festival proves a resounding success

In the third and final concert of the “Offen für Neues” series on 25 August 2018 at the Murten Classics Festival, the Belenus Quartet performed works by Daniel Schnyder, Cécile Marti, Iris Szeghy and Marco Antonio Perez-Ramirez. (Photo: Willi Piller)

The programme for this outstanding day of concerts at the Murten Classics Festival began early, with guests arriving in numbers at the Kultur im Beaulieu (KiB) concert hall in Murten in time for the opening speech by the musicologist Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret...read more

2018 – a challenging year?!

Review of the Copyright Act, No-Billag-Initiative, online licensing, further development of “my account”… With such topics, SUISA continues to pursue the aim to offer its members efficient services and to create optimal framework conditions. We will face the challenge! By Irène Philipp Ziebold, Director

2018 – a challenging year?!

SUISA supports a NO to the No-Billag-Initiative: “If we did not do anything, we would not live up to our duties as a self-help organisation of music creators” writes Director Irène Philipp Ziebold. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

We want to continue to provide efficient services to our members in 2018 and to create optimal framework conditions for them. We have been pursuing these goals in a continuous process for quite a while. For this year we have made a clear note of these intentions and resolutions in our ‘to do’ notepads, since we are facing many challenges in 2018.

With respect to the framework conditions, for example, it is important that authors and publishers benefit better from the online usage of their works with the review of the Copyright Act, or that, in the interest of Swiss music, the reception fees made out of solidarity for public service media are not abolished. In an increasingly cross-border oriented competitive environment, it is, however, also of entrepreneurial importance to optimise the service range offered for members and customers alike.

Since December 2017, statements are made available via “my account”Since December 2017, statements are made available via “my account”
Thanks to the password-protected members’ area “my account”, our members can keep an overview of their distribution statements and distribution settlements. Many members asked us to stop the dispatch by post. We have taken this request into account and introduced the option to renounce on the postal dispatch. Read more

Something we at SUISA can determine as a Cooperative Society is whether a member can access its settlements via “my account”. Since December 2017, only those who have had access to “my account” have been receiving their distributions electronically. It is important in this context that we approach such developments in the interest of our members and never lose sight of the goal to offer high-quality efficient services. Driven by such a motivation, we have continued to improve our services for our members throughout the last few years.

Above and beyond that, we also have the duty as a collective management organisation for copyright to make social and political statements and to create optimal framework conditions as a consequence. Compared to the above mentioned “internal” processes and services, we cannot make the “right” decisions ourselves but influence matters so that the interests of our members are being taken seriously.

Copyright Act Review: Authors and publishers must benefit more from the online exploitation of their worksCopyright Act Review: Authors and publishers must benefit more from the online exploitation of their works
The Federal Council has adopted a dispatch on the new Copyright Act. SUISA is in principle content with the current version of the law. The solutions achieved in the working group for the Copyright Act (AGUR12 II) were implemented. In order for authors, performers, publishers and producers to benefit better from the digitisation, it is necessary to adopt important additions. Read more

We thus engage ourselves to ensure that the creatives, our members as the content suppliers for online platforms do not come out of this empty-handed and that they can expect a modern Copyright Act.

We therefore also support a NO to the No-Billag-Initiative. For many of our members, the public service idea, especially the opportunity to disseminate music and culture, is essential. In this case, the broadcasters of SRG SSR as well as the 35 state-licensed TV and radio stations play a fundamental role. If the reception fees made by Swiss households out of solidarity for their public service media would be abolished, then important platforms for our members for the dissemination of their works would fall away.

Subsidised broadcasters offer more variety and more SUISA repertoireSubsidised broadcasters offer more variety and more SUISA repertoire
Subsidised radio and TV broadcasters in Switzerland and Liechtenstein tend to create more broadcasting space for the music of SUISA members than privately financed channels. Moreover, the majority of the broadcasters supported by the Swiss Federation play more diverse music titles than their counterparts which are focussed on advertising revenue. In the interest of our local music creation and the cultural diversity, we therefore have to reject an abolition of the solidarity-based fees for public service media. Read more

SUISA therefore supports the activities of creators and artists and their associations such as Sonart – music creatives Switzerland, Suisseculture or the Swiss Music Council against No-Billag. If we did not do anything, we would not live up to our duties as a self-help organisation of music creators. And that’s why we take on the challenges 2018 is going to throw at us!

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Review of the Copyright Act, No-Billag-Initiative, online licensing, further development of “my account”… With such topics, SUISA continues to pursue the aim to offer its members efficient services and to create optimal framework conditions. We will face the challenge! By Irène Philipp Ziebold, Director

2018 – a challenging year?!

SUISA supports a NO to the No-Billag-Initiative: “If we did not do anything, we would not live up to our duties as a self-help organisation of music creators” writes Director Irène Philipp Ziebold. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

We want to continue to provide efficient services to our members in 2018 and to create optimal framework conditions for them. We have been pursuing these goals in a continuous process for quite a while. For this year we have made a clear note of these intentions and resolutions in our ‘to do’...read more

“The inspiration for my songs often comes from a single word” | plus video

As a composer and lyricist, Alejandro Reyes from Lausanne has two songs in the Swiss final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018: “Kiss Me” and “Compass”. He also performs the latter track himself. The songs were written at the songwriting camp organised by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA. Writing music as part of a team was new for Alejandro – and an inspiring process. In an interview, the young songwriter explains more about how his two Eurovision songs came about. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

“I never imagined having two songs in the Swiss Eurovision final”, says Alejandro. And no wonder: at 25, Alejandro has only been making music for around seven years. For him, both the Eurovision Song Contest and the songwriting camp were entirely new experiences. It was also the first time that he had written songs in collaboration with other composers and lyricists – which made him all the more proud of his success. “Before coming to the camp, I didn’t think I’d have so much to contribute to the process”, he admits.

It was a great experience for the young songwriter: “I was able to share my perspective and my way of working”, he says. “I also gained a lot from the others at the same time – both positive and not-so-positive feedback that helped me grow as a songwriter.” What particularly struck Alejandro about the songwriting camp was the experience of working together with other songwriters, most of whom he had never met before, for just one day. “There was something really unique and authentic that came out of the collaboration – it really captured a moment in time.”

Alejandro was able to choose which of two songs he co-wrote he wanted to perform: “Compass” or “Kiss Me”. He chose “Compass”, as he felt the song’s story resonated more, and it was a song that went very deep. “The very first lines take you to a profound, moving place. The song has a message”, says Alejandro.

He worked together with the Swiss composer and producer Lars Christen and the Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker on “Compass”. “We started with the basic mood of the song and the idea for the story”, says Alejandro, reflecting on the process of creating the song. The outline of the song came together relatively quickly.

When asked about how he writes his songs, Alejandro answered that, “The inspiration for my songs often comes from a single word.” In the case of “Compass”, he imagined someone reorienting themselves – with a compass. And it’s clear where Alejandro Reyes’ own compass is pointing him: towards the Eurovision Song Contest final 2018!

www.alejandro-reyes.com

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As a composer and lyricist, Alejandro Reyes from Lausanne has two songs in the Swiss final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018: “Kiss Me” and “Compass”. He also performs the latter track himself. The songs were written at the songwriting camp organised by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA. Writing music as part of a team was new for Alejandro – and an inspiring process. In an interview, the young songwriter explains more about how his two Eurovision songs came about. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

“I never imagined having two songs in the Swiss Eurovision final”, says Alejandro. And no wonder: at 25, Alejandro has only been making music for around seven years. For him, both the Eurovision Song Contest and the songwriting camp were entirely new experiences. It...read more

“You have three minutes to impress the whole of Europe” | plus video

Ticino-based musician Chiara Dubey has a good chance of representing Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon on 12 May 2018 with her song “Secrets and Lies”. The pop ballade was written at the songwriting camp organised by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA that took place in August 2017. In an interview, Chiara Dubey talks about her collaboration with her co-songwriters Jeroen Swinnen from Belgium and Janie Price from the UK. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

As a performer, Chiara Dubey has the most Eurovision experience of the six finalists. The Ticino musician has made it to the final round of artists fighting to perform the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time. She wrote her current song “Secrets and Lies” together with the Belgian songwriter and producer Jeroen Swinnen and the British artist Janie Price at the songwriting camp organised by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA.

Chiara explains how the song was written. “Jeroen played a chord sequence on the piano and I improvised a melody, based purely on gut instinct. Bit by bit we added more elements and tinkered with it, like a puzzle, until we had an outline we were all happy with. ” The lyrics came from Janie Price, who arrived at the camp with her own texts. “We adapted her lyrics to the new structure and melody”, says Chiara. “Janie wrote the words, and I gave them my own personal touch.”

Composing a song in this way was a new experience for Chiara: “It was a new feeling for me, not having everything under control!” The Swiss musician normally likes to have an overview of the composition, lyrics, arrangement and instrumentation of her music, but this wasn’t the case at the songwriting camp. “You have to relinquish control and create something that works for all of the artists involved”, explains Chiara on the subject of group composition.

In the end, it’s about coming up with the best possible result – after all, as Chiara says, at the Eurovision Song Contest, “You only have three minutes to impress the whole of Europe.”

www.chiaradubey.com

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Zibbz: “We wanted to write a song that suits us” | plus video“We wanted to write a song that suits us” | plus video Siblings Co and Stee Gfeller, better known as ZiBBZ, are battling it out for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Stones”. They wrote the song together with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker at the songwriting camp staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA in August 2017. In the video, the two siblings tell us more about how the song came about and why this kind of songwriting camp is so important. Read more
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Ticino-based musician Chiara Dubey has a good chance of representing Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon on 12 May 2018 with her song “Secrets and Lies”. The pop ballade was written at the songwriting camp organised by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA that took place in August 2017. In an interview, Chiara Dubey talks about her collaboration with her co-songwriters Jeroen Swinnen from Belgium and Janie Price from the UK. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

As a performer, Chiara Dubey has the most Eurovision experience of the six finalists. The Ticino musician has made it to the final round of artists fighting to perform the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time. She wrote her current song “Secrets and Lies” together with the Belgian songwriter and producer...read more

“We wanted to write a song that suits us” | plus video

Siblings Co and Stee Gfeller, better known as ZiBBZ, are battling it out for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Stones”. They wrote the song together with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker at the songwriting camp staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA in August 2017. In the video, the two siblings tell us more about how the song came about and why this kind of songwriting camp is so important. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

Co and Stee Gfeller commute between Los Angeles and Switzerland. In their LA music lab, the two often take part in songwriting sessions with other musicians – a form of creative exchange missing from Switzerland until now. “It’s so great that now we have a songwriting camp for the first time in Switzerland”, says Co Gfeller.

When they took part in the songwriting camp at Powerplay Studios in August 2017, the siblings wrote two songs in two days. With the song “Stones”, they will be battling it out at the SRF decision show on 4 February 2018, hoping to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest finale in Lisbon.

The Gfellers co-wrote the song with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker. Working as a trio proved to be highly productive; As ZiBBZ recall in the interview, the basic structure of the song was there in just 30 minutes. The song came about almost “magically” on the day, as they explain.

www.zibbz.com

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Lars Christen: “Taking part in the songwriting camp was a big win” | plus video“Taking part in the songwriting camp was a big win” | plus video “Compass” is one of the final six Swiss songs competing for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. It is sung by Alejandro Reyes, who wrote it together with Canadian Laurell Barker and Swiss composer and producer Lars Christen. In an interview with SUISA, Lars Christen talks about the songwriting process. He also explains why he found the songwriting camp such a valuable experience. Read more
Kate Northrop, lyricist: “You always want to write the best song you can” | plus video“You always want to write the best song you can” | plus video Songwriter Kate Northrop is primarily a lyricist, a creative role that doesn’t often land her in the spotlight. Together with three other authors, the SUISA member co-wrote Naeman’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, “Kiss Me”. In a video interview, Kate Northrop explains how she came up with the song lyrics and how she was inspired by the songwriting camp organised by SUISA and Pele Loriano Productions. Read more
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Siblings Co and Stee Gfeller, better known as ZiBBZ, are battling it out for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Stones”. They wrote the song together with Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker at the songwriting camp staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA in August 2017. In the video, the two siblings tell us more about how the song came about and why this kind of songwriting camp is so important. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

Co and Stee Gfeller commute between Los Angeles and Switzerland. In their LA music lab, the two often take part in songwriting sessions with other musicians – a form of creative exchange missing from Switzerland until now. “It’s so great that now we have a songwriting camp for the first time...read more

“You always want to write the best song you can” | plus video

Songwriter Kate Northrop is primarily a lyricist, a creative role that doesn’t often land her in the spotlight. Together with three other authors, the SUISA member co-wrote Naeman’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, “Kiss Me”. In a video interview, Kate Northrop explains how she came up with the song lyrics and how she was inspired by the songwriting camp organised by SUISA and Pele Loriano Productions. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi, video by Manu Leuenberger

Behind every good song is a good songwriter – and in the case of “Kiss Me”, there were four. The song is among the Swiss finalists for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, and is performed by Naeman. It was written by Alejandro Reyes from Lausanne, Ken Berglund from Sweden, Eric Lumière from the USA and Kate Northrop.

Kate originally comes from the USA, now lives in Switzerland, and helped write the lyrics. The story the song tells is the result of a team effort: “First, we all told each other what we thought the song’s story was”, the songwriter explains. “Then we tried to capture that with music, words and – above all – emotions.”

Kate had written songs with a number of different co-authors before, but the process at the songwriting camp was an entirely new experience for her: she had 12 hours to write a finished song with a group of artists she had never met before. Kate loved this method of songwriting: “Working with these artists was incredibly inspiring”, she says. “In order to create something, you have to be open to creative ideas from the rest of the group.”

The fact that the songs written at the songwriting camp were being written for the Eurovision Song Contest made no difference to Kate: “I don’t think writing for the Eurovision Song Contest is different from writing any other kind of song. You always want to write the best song you can.”

www.songwave.ch, Kate Northrop’s website

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“Taking part in the songwriting camp was a big win” | plus video“Taking part in the songwriting camp was a big win” | plus video “Compass” is one of the final six Swiss songs competing for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. It is sung by Alejandro Reyes, who wrote it together with Canadian Laurell Barker and Swiss composer and producer Lars Christen. In an interview with SUISA, Lars Christen talks about the songwriting process. He also explains why he found the songwriting camp such a valuable experience. Read more
Eurovision Song Contest: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA a huge successEurovision Song Contest: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA a huge success The Swiss broadcaster SRF announced the six songs that will be in the running for the Swiss entry to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2018 today. Four of the six entries were created at the Swiss songwriting camp held by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA at Powerplay Studios in Maur. Read more
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Songwriter Kate Northrop is primarily a lyricist, a creative role that doesn’t often land her in the spotlight. Together with three other authors, the SUISA member co-wrote Naeman’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, “Kiss Me”. In a video interview, Kate Northrop explains how she came up with the song lyrics and how she was inspired by the songwriting camp organised by SUISA and Pele Loriano Productions. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi, video by Manu Leuenberger

Behind every good song is a good songwriter – and in the case of “Kiss Me”, there were four. The song is among the Swiss finalists for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, and is performed by Naeman. It was written by Alejandro Reyes from Lausanne, Ken Berglund from Sweden, Eric Lumière from the USA and Kate Northrop.

Kate...read more

“Taking part in the songwriting camp was a big win” | plus video

“Compass” is one of the final six Swiss songs competing for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. It is sung by Alejandro Reyes, who wrote it together with Canadian Laurell Barker and Swiss composer and producer Lars Christen. In an interview with SUISA, Lars Christen talks about the songwriting process. He also explains why he found the songwriting camp such a valuable experience. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

Lars Christen is a much asked for producer and songwriter. He works with artists such as Bastian Baker, James Gruntz, Damian Lynn and – currently – Marc Sway. The August 2017 songwriting camp, which was staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA and took place at the Powerplay Studios in Maur, was a new experience for the SUISA member. But it paid off. Together with Lausanne-based musician Alejandro Reyes and Canadian Laurell Barker he wrote “Compass”, one of the six songs being considered for Switzerland’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The song is sung by co-writer Alejandro Reyes himself. “We talked it over with Alejandro – the things that are important to him, what he would like to sing about”, says Lars in the video about the development process of the song. The thing that “Lars the music guy” most valued at the songwriting camp was the exchange with other musicians from home and abroad. “In terms of building a network, taking part in the camp was a big win.”

The SRF decision show is coming up on 4 February 2018, and the songwriting team will find out if “Compass” will represent Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon in May. “I hope other people get as much enjoyment out of it as we did when we were writing the song”, says Lars.

www.larsthemusicguy.com

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“Compass” is one of the final six Swiss songs competing for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. It is sung by Alejandro Reyes, who wrote it together with Canadian Laurell Barker and Swiss composer and producer Lars Christen. In an interview with SUISA, Lars Christen talks about the songwriting process. He also explains why he found the songwriting camp such a valuable experience. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; video by Manu Leuenberger

Lars Christen is a much asked for producer and songwriter. He works with artists such as Bastian Baker, James Gruntz, Damian Lynn and – currently – Marc Sway. The August 2017 songwriting camp, which was staged by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA and took place at the Powerplay Studios in Maur, was a new experience for the SUISA member. But...read more

Eurovision Song Contest: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA a huge success

The Swiss broadcaster SRF announced the six songs that will be in the running for the Swiss entry to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2018 today. Four of the six entries were created at the Swiss songwriting camp held by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA at Powerplay Studios in Maur. Text by Erika Weibel and Giorgio Tebaldi

Eurovision Song Contest: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA a huge success

Chiara Dubey (on the right), English creative artist Janie Price (in the middle) and the Belgian songwriter and producer Jeroen Swinnen in August 2017 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur. (Photos: Manu Leuenberger)

‘Secrets and Lies’ by Chiara Dubey, ‘Compass’ by Alejandro Reyes, ‘Stones’ by ZiBBZ and ‘Kiss Me’ sung by Naeman – four of the six final songs for the Swiss entry to the ESC 2018 were composed during the songwriting camp that took place at Powerplay Studios in Maur, Zurich from 23 – 25 August 2017. The camp was organised by Pele Loriano Productions in collaboration with SUISA. Pele Loriano is a composer, producer and musical director, and has been a member of SUISA since 1996.

During the three-day songwriting camp, 25 artists teamed up in groups of three to five to compose 18 different tracks. In addition to 13 SUISA members – composers, producers and lyricists from Switzerland – 12 artists from Belgium, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, Sweden, the UK and the US attended the workshop. It was the first time a songwriting camp of this kind for the ESC had taken place in Switzerland.

ESC: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA a huge success

The composers, lyricists and producers who were present on the third and last day of the Songwriting Camp in the recording room of Studio A.

Six SUISA members involved with the four final songs

Six SUISA members are represented in the four final songs from the songwriting camp. Three of the songs are performed by the SUISA authors themselves. The following artists are behind the four songs:

‘Secrets and Lies’
Music/lyrics by: Chiara Dubey (CH/SUISA), Janie Price (UK) and Jeroen Swinnen (BE);
performed by: Chiara Dubey

‘Stones’
Music/lyrics by: Co and Stee Gfeller aka ZiBBZ (CH/SUISA) and Laurell Barker (CAN);
performed by: ZiBBZ

‘Kiss Me’
Music/lyrics by: Kate Northrop (USA/SUISA), Alejandro Reyes (CH/SUISA), Eric Lumiere (USA) and Ken Berglund (SE); performed by: Naeman

‘Compass’
Music/lyrics by: Alejandro Reyes (CH/SUISA), Lars Christen (CH/SUISA) and Laurell Barker (CAN);
performed by: Alejandro Reyes

Eurovision Song Contest: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA

SUISA members Alejandro Reyes (on the left) and Lars Christen (on the right) during their session for the song “Compass“ which they had composed together with the Canadian Laurell Barker.

Total of 670 submissions

The four songs from the songwriting camp were chosen from a total of 670 submissions for the Swiss ESC entry. The songs for the Swiss finals show were selected by an independent jury made up of 20 musicians, media professionals, ESC fans and television viewers.

Finals on 4 February 2018

Which of the six final songs will have the honour of representing Switzerland at the ESC 2018 will be decided at the SRF Swiss finals show on 4 February 2018.

Press Release (PDF, 26 KB)

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The Swiss broadcaster SRF announced the six songs that will be in the running for the Swiss entry to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2018 today. Four of the six entries were created at the Swiss songwriting camp held by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA at Powerplay Studios in Maur. Text by Erika Weibel and Giorgio Tebaldi

Eurovision Song Contest: Swiss songwriting camp by Pele Loriano Productions and SUISA a huge success

Chiara Dubey (on the right), English creative artist Janie Price (in the middle) and the Belgian songwriter and producer Jeroen Swinnen in August 2017 in the Powerplay Studios in Maur. (Photos: Manu Leuenberger)

‘Secrets and Lies’ by Chiara Dubey, ‘Compass’ by Alejandro Reyes, ‘Stones’ by ZiBBZ and ‘Kiss Me’ sung by Naeman – four of the six final songs for the Swiss entry to the ESC 2018 were composed during the songwriting camp that took place...read more

Subsidised broadcasters offer more variety and more SUISA repertoire

Subsidised radio and TV broadcasters in Switzerland and Liechtenstein tend to create more broadcasting space for the music of SUISA members than privately financed channels. Moreover, the majority of the broadcasters supported by the Swiss Federation play more diverse music titles than their counterparts which are focussed on advertising revenue. In the interest of our local music creation and the cultural diversity, we therefore have to reject an abolition of the solidarity-based fees for public service media. Text by Andreas Wegelin and Manu Leuenberger

Subsidised broadcasters offer more variety and more SUISA repertoire - NO to No Billag

The Association ‘Musikschaffende Schweiz’ (Swiss Music Creatives) presented a “SwissMusicOnAir Award” for the first time in 2017. The prize was awarded to the licensed private radio broadcaster with the highest percentage of Swiss (pop) music in its programme: the subsidised Berne-based local radio Radio BeO. (Photo: Radio BeO)

On average, subsidised Swiss radio channels broadcast a higher percentage of music by SUISA members than private radio channels without any public sector funding. In the case of broadcasters which are subsidised by the Swiss Federation, the number of different music titles in the programme is also usually much higher than in the case of their mainly ad-funded counterparts.

A (co-)funding by the Swiss Federation thus contributes to Swiss music creation and diversity taking place in the broadcast programmes. This conclusion isn’t just plucked out of thin air, as the data included in music use reports reflect, which are available to the two collective management organisations SUISA and Swissperform.

If a company in Switzerland wishes to broadcast radio and/or TV programmes or feed them into cable networks, it requires a licensing agreement with SUISA. Under this agreement, the broadcasters are required to provide exact details relating to the programme they transmit.

Broadcast percentages for music by SUISA members

The information provided on the broadcast music must contain the title of the musical work, the name of the composer(s) and artist(s) as well as the broadcast duration, among others. Such detailed information enables SUISA to carry out a correct distribution of the collected licence fees: The collections will be paid out to those authors and publishers whose works have been transmitted based on the information provided in the broadcast reports for the programmes.

Apart from that, the entirety of the broadcast reports reveals an overview of the entire music programme of a channel. In particular, SUISA is in a position to carry out the analysis of the played music of its own members on a well-founded basis. As soon as at least one of the authors is a SUISA member, the musical piece is considered to be a SUISA work for analytical purposes. A music title whose composers and lyricists are exclusively non-SUISA members are therefore considered to be part of ‘other’ repertoire, irrespective of the artist(s) in the course of establishing the music percentages.

Broadcast percentages SUISA works in 2016 in %

Figures rounded off; source: SUISA. (Graphics: Crafft)

A glance on the calculated broadcast percentages from the year 2016 reveals a clear trend: Subsidised radios create more space for the music of SUISA members than privately funded stations. Please note: Not only the SRG programmes play an increasing portion of SUISA repertoire, but also the local channels such as Radio BeO, Kanal K or Radio Stadtfilter. The latter also receive a share of the radio/TV reception fees. The programme mandate therefore shows its effect in this context.

Programme mandates for the national (SRG) and regional (local broadcasters) public service differ in their respective detail. Both of them are, however, subject to basic provision of Art. 93 of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation: “Radio and television shall contribute to education and cultural development, to the free shaping of opinion and to entertainment. They shall take account of the particularities of the country and the needs of the Cantons. They shall present events accurately and allow a diversity of opinions to be expressed appropriately.”

Diversity in the music programmes of the Swiss radio channels

The cultural mandate of SRG includes cultural reporting, education in the cultural sector as well as cultural promotion. In the course of this service mandate, SRG has agreed guidelines for the promotion of Swiss music creation in the radio programmes in the Swiss Music Charter together with the associations and institutions of the Swiss music sector. An analysis of radio broadcasts dating back to 2015, based on an evaluation by Swissperform, shows the positive impact of the public service mandate on the programme diversity:

Percentage of Swiss music and programming diversity in Swiss radio channels (2015 Analysis)
SRG broadcasters Percentage of Swiss music across all musical programming Number of different music titles Private broadcasters Percentage of Swiss music across all musical programming Number of different music titles
SRF MW 40.31 28,978 Radio 24 12.16 2,320
Swiss Classic 37.38 4,007 Argovia 10.25 2,669
Swiss Jazz 21.07 10,645 Sunshine 11.75 1,746
Virus 57.60 8,206 Central 16.32 6,885
Swiss Pop 36.78 4,929 Zürisee 10.45 4,319
SRF 3 21.25 13,702 Pilatus 11.32 2,389
SRF 2 8.22 16,826 Energy Zürich 1,670
SRF 1 16.95 12,189
Rete Uno 7.45 8,600
Rete Due 8.99 18,335
Rete Tre 14.73 14,209
RTR 37.23 18,176
RTS 1 6.25 12,728
RTS 2 14.28 27,075
RTS 3 20.89 19,220
Option Musique 12.81 6,881
Total 224,706 41,753
Average 22.64 14,044 12.04 3,143
Source: Swissperform

Based on this analysis, nearly every fourth played music title on SRG channels included Swiss music creators (percentage of CH music: 23%). The average percentage of broadcast Swiss music within ad-funded private channels amounted to a mere 12%.

A comparison of the number of various music titles proves another significant difference within the evaluated programmes: The audience of the SRG channels was able to listen to an average of 14,044 different recordings throughout the year. In the programmes of the private radio channels, the average across 12 months amounted to 3,143 recordings, a significantly lower number of different music titles. To put it bluntly: Private channels had a rotation of 9 different songs per day.

In the interest of Swiss music NO to No Billag

The public initiative, marketed under the deceptive title “No Billag” aims at a complete abolition of radio and TV reception fees. The initiators of this campaign have not set their targets on the collection body Billag. Instead, they intend to establish in the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation that the Swiss Federation shall not subsidise any radio and TV stations. At the same time, if the initiative were to be successful, the previously mentioned basic provision according to which radio and TV must contribute to a cultural development and to take the national particularities of a country into account, would be deleted from the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation without replacement.

In a purely commercially oriented radio and TV landscape, the broadcasters would inevitably focus on their advertising revenues. The current facts on broadcast percentages of Swiss Music and the number of different music titles convey an impression which impact such a finance-driven orientation would have on the programme contents. In the interest of our local music creation and the cultural diversity, we therefore have to categorically reject an abolition of the solidarity-based fees for public service media.

Further information:
Complete evaluations of the broadcast percentages of SUISA works, both in the radio transmissions of SRG as well as in the broadcasts of private radios in 2016 are published here: www.suisa.ch/hit-parades

NO to No Billag – Campaign against the public initiative

A petition to gather signatures is currently launched among Swiss creators and artists for an appeal with which they take a joint position against the No Billag initiative and for a culturally diverse Switzerland. The campaign is coordinated by the Schweizerische Interpretengenossenschaft (Swiss Artists’ Cooperative) SIG and Swissperform and is supported by numerous representatives from cultural sectors such as SUISA, music creators, the Musikrat (Music Council) and many more. In January 2018, creators and artists want to go public with their joint campaign.

The initiative has, however, not just seen resistance from within cultural circles. There are campaigns by various committees and institutions that are engaged in a NO to No Billag / NON à No Billag on 04 March 2018:

Nein zu No Billag, Initiative by the Unikom radios and others
Nonobillag.ch, interest group «NEIN zu No-Billag» (NO to No Billag)
Sendeschluss? Nein!, Association «Nein zum Sendeschluss» (No to transmission shutdown)
Nein zum Anschlag auf unsere Demokratie, Operation Libero
NON à No Billag, Association contre la disparition des radios et TV
Medien für alle – Médias pour tous – Media per tutti, Verein Medien für alle – médias pour tous – media per tutti
Amici della RSI, Associazione Amici della RSI
Salviamo la RSI, Pagina indipendente per la difesa del pluralismo svizzero dei media
No Billag No Svizzera, Comitato No Billag No Svizzera

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  1. Michel says:

    Seit mindestens 8 Jahren habe ich weder einen Fernseher noch ein Radio eingeschaltet. Ich beziehe mein Unterhaltungsprogramm und die Musik von anderen Diensten, bei denen ich selbst wählen kann, was ich sehen oder hören möchte. Und DAFÜR bezahle ich auch.

    Wenn jemand an der tollen “Vielfalt” der subventionierten Sendern hängt, warum soll ICH das bezahlen? Bezahl doch selbst! So wie ich es auch für meine Interessen tue.

    Simples Verursacherprinzip.

    Die Argumente der “Nein zu No-Billag” sind einfach nur lachhaft.

  2. Guldenfels says:

    No Billag, no cultur ?
    Dieser Slogan ist einfach nur Falsch !
    Entstehen doch genau in der Subcultur, weit weg von Subventionen, die Kreativen Würfe dieser Welt.
    Ausserdem gab es schon vor der Billag-Zwangsgebühren Kulturen….

    • Manu Leuenberger says:

      Bei der Genossenschaft SUISA sind über 36 000 Komponisten, Textautoren und Verleger aus allen musikalischen Sparten angemeldet. Darunter befinden sich auch zahlreiche Musikschaffende, die aus dem Independent-Bereich stammen oder in musikalischen Nischenmärkten tätig sind. Gerade diese Musikschaffenden haben vor allem auf den subventionierten Sendern eine Chance, verbreitet zu werden. (Mit-)Finanzierung aus öffentlicher Hand hat nachweislich einen günstigen Effekt darauf, dass lokale Musik oder Nischenmusik gesendet wird. Dies zeigen die im Artikel geschilderten Zahlen der Sendeanteile und der Anzahl der unterschiedlichen Musiktitel auf. Man denke an Sender wie Kanal K, Radio Lora oder auch die Plattform mx3, die ohne Beihilfe aus den Gebühren nicht existieren können.

      Manu Leuenberger / SUISA Kommunikation

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Subsidised radio and TV broadcasters in Switzerland and Liechtenstein tend to create more broadcasting space for the music of SUISA members than privately financed channels. Moreover, the majority of the broadcasters supported by the Swiss Federation play more diverse music titles than their counterparts which are focussed on advertising revenue. In the interest of our local music creation and the cultural diversity, we therefore have to reject an abolition of the solidarity-based fees for public service media. Text by Andreas Wegelin and Manu Leuenberger

Subsidised broadcasters offer more variety and more SUISA repertoire - NO to No Billag

The Association ‘Musikschaffende Schweiz’ (Swiss Music Creatives) presented a “SwissMusicOnAir Award” for the first time in 2017. The prize was awarded to the licensed private radio broadcaster with the highest percentage of Swiss (pop) music in its programme: the subsidised Berne-based local radio Radio BeO. (Photo: Radio BeO)

On...read more

SUISA, an attractive employer

One day ahead of the General Assembly 2017, SUISA’s Committees for Tariffs and Distribution, for Organisation and Communication as well as the entire SUISA Board held their respective meetings. Agenda items for discussion included the auditors’ report, a new set of staff regulations for SUISA employees and a resolution for a strong public service, among others. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

SUISA, an attractive employer

The SUISA Board approved a revised set of staff regulations following its meeting in June 2017 which provides for the developments in human resources management and helps SUISA to remain an attractive employer. The majority of staff are based in the office location in Zurich-Wollishofen’s Bellariastrasse (pictured). (Photo: SUISA)

The SUISA Board with its 15 members makes up the governing body in charge of steering and overseeing the Cooperative Society. Its members represent Switzerland’s various musical repertoires, professions and language regions. All Board members are also active in one of the three Board Committees.

On 22 June 2017, one day ahead of SUISA’s General Assembly, the members of the Committee for Tariffs and Distribution, and after that, the Committee for Organisation and Communication gathered for their meetings. The main Board held its own session in the afternoon of that day, its members listened to updates, held discussions and cast decisions.

Auditors’ reports

At the end of the business year, BDO, SUISA’s auditors, created two reports: The explanatory report for the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, the supervisory authority of the Swiss collective management organisations; and the comprehensive report for the Board. The latter is instrumental for detecting potential for improvement and to deduce the relevant measures that need to be taken.

New staff regulations

The staff regulations for SUISA employees has been updated in 2013 for the last time. Since then, quite a bit has changed. Changes in labour legislation required that executive staff should log their times, provisions for continued pay in cases of illness had to be adapted, the regulations for copyright concerning work output were extended, and the auditors of SUISA had demanded that an anti-corruption article should be implemented into the staff regulations.

Parallel to these changes, the strict attendance times of old were replaced by so-called service times. Flexible working times help employees to get a better work-life balance. SUISA can balance workload peaks better with this new model. Members and customers will hardly notice any changes. The service times correspond with the previous opening times. During these opening times, staff members can be contacted and all service ranges offered are ensured.

The Board has ratified the new staff regulations. SUISA thus holds a set of rules which caters for the developments in human resources management and helps it to remain an attractive employer.

SRG SSR and public service

As already reported, public and political pressure on the public service has been growing. Restrictions or possibly the axing of the latter would have grave consequences for Swiss music creators – not just in terms of financial income. They would lose an important platform for their music and reports about related issues.

The Board has adopted a resolution to be presented at the General Assembly. SUISA members thus request Swiss Parliament members to consider the role of the reception fee-financed broadcasters when they discuss the “No Billag” initiative and when they contemplate the restrictions regarding SRG SSR in order not to weaken the position of the broadcaster. The text of the resolution can be read on the SUISA webpage and can also be electronically signed there.

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One day ahead of the General Assembly 2017, SUISA’s Committees for Tariffs and Distribution, for Organisation and Communication as well as the entire SUISA Board held their respective meetings. Agenda items for discussion included the auditors’ report, a new set of staff regulations for SUISA employees and a resolution for a strong public service, among others. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

SUISA, an attractive employer

The SUISA Board approved a revised set of staff regulations following its meeting in June 2017 which provides for the developments in human resources management and helps SUISA to remain an attractive employer. The majority of staff are based in the office location in Zurich-Wollishofen’s Bellariastrasse (pictured). (Photo: SUISA)

The SUISA Board with its 15 members makes up the governing body in charge of steering and overseeing the Cooperative Society....read more