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Artz Centre Students go OFF THE RECORD.

Since January of 2018, the Artz Centre has been running it’s OFF THE RECORD project, funded by the National Lottery Fund, to encourage young singer songwriters to hone their skills and produce original work to share with their community.

The project was kicked off with a “Live Lounge” style event, where young singer-songwriters from the town gathered together at the Artz Centre to showcase their abilities; and give audiences a taste of their own, original music. The night saw ten performers take to stage;

delivering a set of songs to a live audience made up of family, friends and members of the local community alike. Not only was this a fantastic opportunity for the young people to share their own work, but it also stood to be one of the largest events of its kind in West Lancashire: with a total of 20 songs performed by young people accompanying themselves, whether that be on guitar, piano or ukulele.

The next stage of the project was to offer opportunities for students to develop their skills as musicians by working with our head of music James Ellwood through subsidised guitar, piano and singing lessons over the summer. Adam Ball, one of James’ students commented,

ABOVE: Adam performing at Live Lounge.

“My piano lessons with James are extremely helpful and during them I am always taught something new each time. I go to them because the way I am taught how to play, and teaching methods used are easy to follow and very interesting. It has helped me as a musician and a performer as learning the piano has added to another skill I can now use in environments such as performing arts.”

Alongside these instrumental lessons, a further cohort of students participated in creative-writing and lyric crafting masterclasses; where they explored how to put into words their thoughts and views on issues they feel strongly about, and encounter in their lives. Masterclass facilitator Claire McEvoy commented:

The funding from the National Lottery has certainly impacted the Artz Centre through this project, and it has inspired our local youngsters across so many varying levels. From the Live Lounge event of accomplished local musicians – to local youngsters wanting to write their very first song; it has been engaging to the core. ”.

Being a writer myself, I was delighted to have a platform to share my love of word artistry with a group of local youngsters. Young people are very much our vehicles to a brighter future for our local communities; and helping them discuss their perceptions of their local area – and begin to craft these thoughts into songs – it was a very special and cathartic experience for everyone involved”.

The final component for the OFF THE RECORD project was for a selection of students to spend the Summer and Autumn of 2018 working in the Artz Centre’s professional recording studio; recording their original songs, whilst working alongside local sound engineers. This has meant that our recording studio has seen 10 new faces take to the microphone, and we are proud to have offered this opportunity to so many of the young people in the town; removing the barriers encountered by so many songwriters when it comes to recording their work, such as cost. Offering these opportunities to work in the recording studio at no charge has meant more of our students than ever have been able to use these top-of-the-range facilities.

The recordings of our singer songwriters’ pieces, that have been produced through the Artz Centre, are now  being compiled into an original studio album to showcase their abundance of talent and ability. Not only have the artists on this album shown incredible musical ability, but their professionalism and exceptional attitudes have been a true testament to their love for music.

The OFF THE RECORD album will be released on the 29thof January 2019, coinciding with the project’s final event. This 2019 concluding “Live Lounge” Event, will invite all students involved in the project throughout 2018, to showcase their work live to an audience, whilst demonstrating how their skills have improved and how they have grown as artists throughout the past year. This special event is certainly not one to be missed.

To enquire about tickets for Live Lounge contact the Artz Centre on 01695 733080 or Email info@artzcentre.co.uk

 

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