© 2018 by Ethan Kenvarg

VIDEO CONTENT: Tiny Desk Contest

In 2008, NPR’s All Songs Considered launched Tiny Desk Concerts, a web series of intimate live concerts performed behind a desk at their offices in Washington D.C. Six years and millions of views later later, NPR announced it would host its first Tiny Desk Contest, inviting bands to submit a video of one of their songs.

 

An avid viewer of the concerts, I submitted my first entry during the inaugural competition in 2015. Since then, I have recorded three additional entries, both as a solo musician and with a group.

The Project

Compose and record live performances of new, original songs for an online songwriting competition.

The Product

Four videos, made in collaboration with numerous musicians and videographers, that showcase unique musical arrangements and techniques.

In keeping with the rules of the competition, each song had to be performed at a desk -- meaning, consequently, each song had to be adapted to this new and prohibitive format. Often working with other instrumentalists and vocalists, I wrote new arrangements and guided the videographer through what aspects of the performance to capture.

 

These live performances exemplify the artistic growth that can result from imposed restrictions. Whether a striking vocal harmony or a somber melodic shift, the process of creating each video produced many small, unexpected joys I’m pleased to share.