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Trans-Atlantic Song Swap, Part 2 of 2: Songs of Liberation, Justice, and People's Empowerment (Online Swap)

  • 08/23/2020
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • https://www.facebook.com/Peoples.Music.Network/live/


  • Requires code.
  • If you wish to join, PMN, see https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN


Performances through Zoom

PMN Members and invited comrades from the UK may use this registration form to sign up to share a song or a poem during this online event.  Registration alone doesn't automatically mean you will be in the final performance line up, but a personal invitation does.  All registrants will receive an e-mail message with information about the event as the line up is finalized.  All performers will perform through their own computer connection.

Registration Deadline:  Wednesday, August 19 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

The order of performance will be posted on the Facebook event page (INSERTLINK) on Friday, August 21, and all registrants will be informed by email.  You may register for this event after the deadline, but you'll be added to the wait list.

The Topic: Trans-Atlantic Song Swaps:  Songs of Liberation, Justice, and People's Empowerment

The People's Music Network (PMN) is hosting two music sharing sessions in order to forge international links among musicians in the U.S. and the UK who use their music in the service of movements for justice.  The first session takes place July 24.  This second session on Sunday, August 23 takes place 9-11 PM in UK; 4-6 PM in Eastern U.S.  We will host it twice and then assess whether there is interest to continue.

PMN has always believed in international solidarity and cultural exchange. The dramatic turn toward online video conferencing since the pandemic provides a unique impetus to put these beliefs into action.

With roots going back to 1977, the People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle (our full name), is a diverse community of performing artists, activists, and allies, based mostly in the U.S, who use music, poetry, and other art forms as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.  Before the pandemic, PMN's main activity had been holding two large in-person get-togethers each year referred to as "convergences". Our June 2020 PMN Convergence in Western Massachusetts had to be held on-line. Since March, PMN has also been sponsoring weekly online events for members, including song swaps, songwriting workshops, and concerts.

The format will be similar to one that PMN has been using successfully since March: Participants will have up to five minutes of performance time to do one song, contemporary or traditional. PMN Executive Director Ben Grosscup will serve as host, and he will invite the performers in consultation with Steve Suffet. If you are invited, two things that PMN asks are that you help publicize the event and that you stay around to listen to all the other performers. PMN will host each event on Zoom and simultaneously live stream it on Facebook.

PMN is considering future plans for building similar links with artists in other countries, including non-English speaking countries.

Eligibility to Perform

Performers in this swap must:

1)   be invited comrades from the UK and/or PMN members in good standing* 

2)   register using this form.

3)   have a computer with functioning video camera and microphone.

* If you are not a PMN member, you may join here: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN

How we Select the Performers

For each of these two international song swaps, PMN will invite 12 artists based in the UK to share songs of liberation, justice, and empowerment, and will also select 12 of our own members in the U.S. to do likewise. PMN aims to present a diverse representation of our members in terms of musical genre, race, age, and gender. Within our own network, PMN aims to transcend the limits of the mostly white, mostly older folk community that exists on our side of the Atlantic. We are seeking common purpose with our UK comrades-in-song to achieve a more diverse musical activist community.

Every PMN member wishing to perform at this event is invited to register and to do so sooner than later.  Selection for the final performer list, however, is not first-come first-served.  Instead, we give priority to new PMN members as well as PMN members who have not yet performed in one of our previous online swap events.  Since this event focuses on a specific topic and genre, the relevance of a submission to the topic at hand will also be considered.  We hold these song swap events regularly.  If we can't fit you in this time, anticipate more opportunities soon!

Tech Run Through

If you are a PMN member selected to perform in this swap or if you are an invited international artist, you will receive an e-mail invitation to a tech run through taking place on Friday, August 21, from 9:00 to 10:30 PM in the UK; 4:00 to 5:30 PM in the eastern U.S.   We will discuss how to get the best sound when sharing music on Zoom (more about this in next section).  Each person will have a chance to sing a verse of their song and receive feedback on ways to improve audio quality.  While perfection is not expected, artists who are new to zoom are strongly encouraged to attend this, because it can be a big confidence builder to learn how to use these tools. 

Improving the Audio Quality of your Performance

  • Learn the Basics of Music on Zoom.  Watch a 10 minute webinar on "Improving Audio Quality for Live Musical Performances on Zoom".  This video distills the basic tips and tricks that first timers need to know.  The key elements are microphone quality, internet connectivity, Zoom advanced audio settings, and microphone placement. 
  • Explore more about improving the audio quality for your performance.  Using your computer's built in mic with Zoom's default audio settings is sufficient to participate and be heard, especially if your performance involves just the human voice.  The sound of a person singing or talking normally comes across on Zoom somewhat better than a telephone.  Zoom applies audio compression filters to the sound of meetings by default.  These filters are effective at reducing background noise, but they also recognize the frequencies of instruments and backing tracks as background noise, causing the frequencies they use to sound distorted.  It is possible to significantly improve the audio quality of both voice and instruments by using an external USB mic or a USB audio interface device.  (See PMN member discussion forum on, "What kind of External USB mic are you using to play music live online?").   Once you have the hardware in place, there is a setting in Zoom called "enable original sound", which removes Zoom's default audio compression.  Learning these tools helps improve the sound of your performance.  Please see here for a useful and simple tutorial about how to enable original sound in Zoom.       
  • Compare your sound with other set ups.  You can create a free account on Zoom that allows you to record videos and hear how your sound comes across to others when using different settings and equipment.  I recorded a video that shows how audio quality improves by enabling "original sound" and using an external USB microphone, starting with the worst set up and moving steadily to the best set up. (Enter this password to unlock it: P9.0v1!B).

The Show is Broadcast and Archived through Facebook Live



Sunday, August 23 (9:00 to 11:00 PM in the UK; 4:00 to 6:00 PM in the eastern U.S.)

(Note: The livestream post won't pop up at the link above until a few minutes before the event beings.)

**After the event, click the link above to access a recording of the event.

Help Publicize!

Tell your friends how they can tune into this online musical event for progressive culture.  Share this event on Facebook: INSERTLINK

© 2017 People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle.
People's Music Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. c/o Sally Campbell 252 W 91st St Apt 64, New York, NY 10024-1135

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