I have written this for my UNIT 1 PART C: ARTS REVIEW for my Silver Arts Award Portfolio. This is evidence of sharing my arts review, as suggested in the review guide.

UNIT 1 PART C: Arts Review

The event I attended was a showcase at The Garage, Norwich, on 15th January 2016.

Whilst we were there, we watched three acts perform, and then took part in a workshop led by each of them. All of the acts were musical but presented very different forms of music. I hadn't ever been to a showcase like that before, but I really enjoyed it and it helped me understand different genres or music and how they are performed. We learnt more about different performers experiences in the music industry and they also talked to us about PR and marketing.


The first act – Acafellas were a 6-piece male group, who sang a cappella music. They sang modern songs and appealed to the teenage audience – perhaps as a result of films such as Pitch Perfect. They delivered an excellent workshop, teaching us how to harmonise and also form the sounds used in beatboxing.

The Acafellas

Next was Graffiti Classics, who provided a unique performance, combining classical music, with dance and humour. This act engaged the audience and convinced them classical music can be fun. Their workshop taught us about PR, and how their dance routines are choreographed.

Some background on Graffiti Classics

Graffiti Classics was founded in 1997 by Cathal O'Duill. Whilst street-performing in Covent Garden (London) he realised that classical music could be made fun for any audience through interaction and comedy. The company has developed a unique antidote to the preconceptions of classical music as stuffy and elitist and succeeds in bringing it to anyone and everyone whatever their age.

Graffiti Classics have a large international following and in 2011 performed in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Tunisia, Sweden, Holland, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. Graffiti Classics perform for a huge range of events, their varied work taking them from festivals, cruise ships and concert halls to prisons, hospitals and schools; from weddings and parties to theatres and corporate events.

Information taken from http://www.alivenetwork.com/bandpage.asp?bandname=Graffiti%20Classics

Last, but not least, was Richard Navarro, who did not conform to a genre, just used his passion and amazing voice to write and perform brilliant original songs. He played many instruments, and also uses electric equipment. His workshop taught us about the use and effectiveness of looping and we created a 'human looping system' using Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars

Information & some background on Richard Navarro

Richard started playing the piano when he was five, and (against his parents' wishes) grabbed hold of a violin when he was around 7. As a kid Richard was lucky enough to be involved in a brass band, orchestras, quartets, choirs and bands, so was totally surrounded by music. He learned to write songs in a class that he took along with Guy Berryman (the bassist from Coldplay!) He still performs from time to time with his teacher from then... 

Fast forwarding a bit, Richard gave his first gig as a songwriter in 2001 in Bristol, where he was a student. He has written and recorded four albums, and released two of these under his own label. He met my bassist Nicholas in 2011 and they now write and perform together as a duo - sometimes adding James Hatton on percussion. Having performed in the past widely in music venues and bars across Kent and the South East they are now in demand to play across the country in music venues, festivals and theatres, but also in smaller, rural touring venues such as village halls. Richard's many different adventures in music give me a very rich life, allowing me to visit new places across the UK and Europe and meet wonderful people, some of whom have become lasting friends. Alongside song writing, he is starting music projects with blind children and young asylum seekers in Kent, who he is sure will inspire him as much as he hopes to inspire them.

The music of Richard Navarro takes the folk traditions of melody and storytelling and supercharges them through live looping and improvisation. The music of Richard Navarro takes the folk traditions of melody and storytelling and supercharges them through live looping and improvisation. "Richard Navarro's 'Seabirds' combines elements of folk and jazz with a sprinkling of magic to create an off-kilter mix of gorgeous weirdness. - James Robins, BBC 6 Music 

Information provided by Richard Navarro via Facebook

My Thoughts

I thought that the idea of each act providing a workshop was one of the best bits about the showcase, as it enabled me to learn more about their music and their experiences in the industry.

The only thing that I didn't was as good/ disappointed me was that The Acafellas only had two members of their group at their workshop, which meant that we didn't get the full effect of how their performances are arranged.

I would recommend a showcase of this nature to other people because it allows you not only to watch and enjoy a variety of acts, but the workshops enabled me to learn more about them, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of different people's experiences of music and within the music industry.

From this experience, I learnt that people get into the music industry in different ways, some from being music students, or some by taking an opportunity, and being lucky enough to be discovered by the right people. Also, each act provided us with a different view on topics such as Marketing, Personal Relations (PR) and arrangement.


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