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Now that the results of the 64 competitors are out and paired, there is a bit of fear and anxiety in the air. And I'd say a healthy fear at that. To bring out the best of you under pressure is what this competition is about. Can you find that inspiration or mental determination to write any music of worth on the fly? Is the music in your bones? Has your learning in the past been keeping up with your passion for all this time? One composer's survival skills pitted against another. The key in this contest is heart. A heart to endure the doubts, and a heart to stay true while creating something new.
I've lived by the rule that if you're not going to take the most out of a contest by writing a piece you want to write, then you're not going to get very far. Whether that is to learn how to improve or to actually compete, you need the integrity of a piece that has purpose. Music with pretense will soon make you past tense.
There is a legitimate fear to competing directly against another composer, and that comes from a sense of rejection. The problem comes from a misconception that if you are knocked out in a round that you're not any good as a composer, or at least it is from the idea that you're not as good as another. It could be compared to the fear that men have when it comes to being rejected by women. One would have to face the reality of one's own character traits upon rejection, or deny and make excuses by blaming the other person that did the rejecting. But man up! Just as men are called to be rejected from time to time, so too the composer. You'll have to keep on going if anyone is going to take you seriously as a composer.
I for one will enjoy this undertaking of competing against the 2014 champion, garlagan, in the first round. Although, I don't have any expectations other than to face defeat, I am just going to write music for music's sake. I intend to pour out my heart in this contest but whether it is enough to advance is irrelevant to me. I don't care what you think. I don't even care what I think. I care what the music thinks, and my God. I invite you to do the same. This is what excites me about Newgrounds: the community of musicians.
In regards to the stats and train of thought of grouping the competitors together, I think it's quite interesting to pair the highest scores of audition pieces together. For example, the top 4 highest average scorers in the audition phase will face each other while the 4 lowest average scored competitors and etc. will only have to face each other in the beginning of this contest. The tournament bracket that @ChronoNomad created makes this a contest that allows the underdogs to go far in this contest. The previous NGADM champions will get knocked out earlier on in the contest, and the Final round will most likely be a bit of a landslide victory for one opponent. It's a fun approach, but hopefully the contestants from seeds 33-64 will give the others a "run for their money."
I'll be sure to follow the results of this contest regardless if I'm participating in it or not.
TL;DR??? try reading a book for a change...