Plug in your headphones, turn on your speakers, and listen to this: SoundCloud is now accepting applications for its second annual Fellowship program. The sound-sharing community is looking for 10 socially savvy, creative people who can use the platform to tell a story through sound. In return, SoundCloud will give them the support they’ll need to complete their projects.
Founded in 2008, SoundCloud has simplified the process of uploading, recording, and distributing audio tracks for its 15 million registered users. The community draws writers, artists, comedians, and producers as well as musicians; and includes a range of distinguished members from rap artist Snoop Dogg to New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg.
In addition to providing statistics and branding tools for undiscovered artists, the platform lends itself well to collaboration because people can explore and share each others’ tracks, give feedback, or incorporate them into their own music through a creative commons license. Many friendships, artistic partnerships, and even marriages have started with a simple recording on SoundCloud.
This year, the company has been on a mission to “unmute the Web” by improving its platform and connecting to other networks like Twitter, Flipboard, and Pinterest, where people can hear a song or a podcast in the same way they would watch a video. Said SoundCloud evangelist David Noël, “The Web is a bunch of Lego blocks and we try to be connected to as many as we can.”
For its 2012 Fellowship program, the social sound platform is looking for sound creation projects that are unique, replicable, and that tell a compelling story. The team will choose about 10 projects, maybe more, to support and promote throughout the website from mid-August through mid-October 2012.
Last year’s fellows took the challenge beyond the boundaries of music: Alex Stiver‘s goal was to record the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 370 languages; Katie Needs wanted to create a sound map of the city of Toronto.
Noël said he doesn’t want to influence the submissions too much, but he was inspired by the Reddit user who landed a Hollywood movie deal for his synopsis of what would happen if the U.S. Marines fought the Roman Empire. A crowdsourced audio book along those lines would work well on SoundCloud, Noël noted.
To apply for the fellowship, record an audio introduction for yourself that explains the inspiration for your project and how it incorporates sound as a creative medium. Include a timeline to show how your project will progress over the next few months. If you’re going to need funding, specify how much you’ll need and why. The final deadline for submissions is July 25, 2012. You can read more about the application process here.