UA launches $1,000 competition to find institute’s musical signature


The University of Arkansas will pay $1,000 to the winner of a musical signature competition.

The university’s Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I³R) is looking for a piece of original music that will serve as its leitmotif.

The winning piece will be unveiled later this year at the grand opening of the institute’s new advanced research and innovation hub, located at the corner of Dickson Street and Duncan Avenue.

A leitmotif is often used in films to evoke emotion and establish continuity, and in business to create brand identity and product association.

The institute wants its leitmotif to convey its mission and vision when played at events and in other activities.

I³R is known for its “convergence” research approach, and frequently collaborates across multiple disciplines to address complex global issues, from integrative health to economic development.

“We in I³R are in the pursuit of discoveries and innovative deployable solutions to some of society’s most ‘wicked’ problems,” said Ranu Jung, associate vice chancellor and I³R founding executive director. “Music invokes inner creativity, conveys passion and helps us connect with others. My hope is that this leitmotif will reflect I³R ’s fervor and purpose.”

The competition is a collaboration with the UA’s music department and Hill Records.

Interested artists are invited to an informational meeting from 5:30-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 at Mullins Library Room 452-453, where details of the two-phase panel review process focusing on technical merit and artistic merits will be discussed.

Submission Criteria

Type: Instrumental compositions only (no vocals)
Length: Composition must be 3-4-minutes in length and adaptable to 10-second, 30-second, and 1-minute versions.
Tone: Tone should be uplifting, catchy, forward-looking and reflect I³R’s mission and vision.

Submission Requirements

  • Must be an original composition.
  • Artist must indicate if artificial intelligence was used in the creation of the piece.
  • Only one submission per artist.
  • Composition must be complete, i.e. CD distribution quality (no demos)
  • Recordings must be in .wav format.
  • Composer must be:
    • University of Arkansas student, faculty, staff, or alumna/us, or
    • Arkansas resident
  • Composer must be at least 18 years old.
  • The winning submission will be property of I³R and for sole use of the institute.
  • The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Submission Process

  • If you don’t already have a Box account, create a free “Individual” account. Recordings must be submitted as a Box link. Recordings submitted in any other form will not be accepted.
  • In Box, create a new folder titled “{Artist/Group Name} Hill Records Submission.”
  • Upload your composition as.wav file into the folder. Make sure the file name is the title of the recording.
  • While in the folder, click the “Share” button in the top right. Toggle on “Create Shared Link.”
  • Under the link, click “Can view and download”; Change to “Can view only.”
  • Copy the shared link and paste in an email to [email protected].
  • Subject Line must read: I³R Musical Composition

For questions, contact [email protected].