The X-factor frequently produces lowest common denominator pop acts such as (long live the king of the charts) Joe McElderry, but shouldn't we have a chance to judge for ourselves as to the merits of the participants? As some times something worth while does appear.
(Gamu Nhengu's audition on the first X-factor of the year which has received controversy for having auto tune applied to it.)
Even though i am not keen on acts spawned from shows such as x-factor and alike it is true that, once in a while, an act with staying power and heaven forbid even critical merit is uncovered though these competitions. As a case in point i look suggest that Will Young who's break came x-factors older brother Pop Idol and has subsequently carved out a long and acclaimed career, and to a lesser degree acts such as Leona Lewis or Alexander Burke (who i am sure are really the same person, but any way) have also made a place for themselves in the music industry.
By adding auto tune to the vocals of contestants auditions i feel the potential Will Young's and Lenoa Lewis', who could potentially have long lasting careers as a result of their first few performance, are being robbed of the opportunity to exhibit their talents in comparison to other contestants. And we are left with performances which take their musicality from modern post-production techniques which can now be implemented on the fly.
On another note, although we are all aware that the out come of these competitions is heavily orchestrated by the relevant production teams, it also prevents viewers from making an informed decision as to the skill of the contestant.
It is true that nearly all music in the charts at the moment has been auto tuned to some degree and todays audience is perhaps unconsciously used to it's presence but these are either artistic or record label decisions for a final product which is ultimately sold. Perhaps some people may see auto-tune as an intrinsic part of their act as might be said of T-Pain or Cher's track "Believe", which are now both synonymous with auto-tune, but shouldn't these people be persuaded to make it known to the public before hand or otherwise try out for Britons Got Talent rather than the X-factor which is first and foremost a singing competition.
Hopefully in light of the subsequent furore since the broadcast of X-Factors first episode of the 2010 series the producers will have chosen to drop auto-tune from their competitions. Especially the Auditions.
(T-pain and Ellen demonstrate auto-tune in it's most drastic form)
As a massive Delphic fan i was really excited to get the opportunity to see them at Evolution Festival this year, not only this, but i got to photograph them for Ballad Of. The electro/guitar rock outfit really pulled the crowds and really showed me why i fell in love with them when they broke onto the scene 6 months ago. It really it so fantastic to see an act like this cut it live as well as in the studio.
Like you would expect Paolo Nutini, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris were amazing but the acts that really caught me off guard were Eskimo Twins and Benga. If you get the chance to see either of these guys live your in for a treat.
Look out for my photos from the weekend in Ballad Of magazine. You can pick up the mag from Harrods, Selfridges, Tate Modern and other good stores.
Ballad was born out of frustration. Frustration and a few dirty beers. We love art, we love pretty, we love edgy, new, intelligent, retro and informed creativity, and we wanted to see more of it… Ballad Of… is a community of emerging and exciting artists with the shared goal of collaborating to produce outstanding work for publication, portfolios and events. Balladof.co.uk is the heart of everything we’ve got going on. Everything that we love, do and find flows through it. Ballad Of… in print is published bi annually, and Ballad Of…Presents holds regular events, exhibitions and collaborations. It’s all about getting what we love, seen. And it’s all about you lot getting involved.
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For the Northumbria University Viusal Arts Degree Show i am doing an installation which is made up of a sound scape in a corridor space that leads you towards an installation. piece situated around the corner. The audio track is complete as well as installing the speaker system and all that remains is the final touches to the installation.
Im not going to give away any more about the installation or the audio track as this would jeopardize the conceptual framework of the work, so you'll just have to come to the exhibition.
Others exhibiting include Heather Bray, Alex Harper, Fergus Newlands, Dean Charlton, Matt Varger, Matt Varger and Claire Cummings.
Special Preview: 11 June 2010
Exhibition: 12 June - 25 June 2010
The exhibition is the culmination of undergraduate studies for 2010 and, as in previous years, the exhibition will demonstrate an extremely high level of creative achievement with each student cultivating an individual practice that is distinctively their own, and that reflects the diversity of contemporary ideas and culture.
The Visual Arts Degree Show provides graduating students with an opportunity to showcase their work before embarking on careers in the arts and creative industries. Through their individual art works, our graduates demonstrate original and innovative approaches to art practice.
The event is open to staff, current and future students as well as the general public, enabling all visitors to view the new generation of artists as they make their distinctive mark on contemporary ideas and culture.
This popular event, which is eagerly awaited each year, attracts hundreds of visitors.
In 2010 the Visual Arts Degree Show will exhibit over 150 new art works by 70 artists and it is an ideal opportunity to wish our graduates every success in their future careers.
Save the date as this exhibition should not to be missed!
Gallery North, Squires Building and Squires Annexe,
School of Arts & Social Sciences,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tel: +44 (0) 191 243 7222
For a little of what to expect check out the vid below: