Thursday, January 25, 2007

Are you listening?

Does a program like American/Australian/NZ Idol work? Is it of long-term benefit to the person who wins? For some people it obviously is, and sometimes it isn’t the winner who benefits. Jennifer Hudson made the finals of the show and then not only got slammed by at least one of the judges, but was ousted late in the proceedings. Nevertheless, she went on to play out the ‘American Idol’ summer tour, and followed this up with two years’ worth of concerts on the road. Perseverance was the key. In the auditions for the movie, Dreamgirls, she went on to beat the very American Idol she had performed with, Fantasia Barrino. for the part of Effie Melody White, the cast-off member of a group that was similar to the Supremes. Now she’s being touted as performing more powerfully in the movie than Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy or Jamie Foxx. Since the movie appeared, she has already received the National Board of Review (for "Breakthrough Performance"), New York Film Critics Award, Phoenix Film Critic's Society Award, Golden Satellite Award and a Golden Globe nomination. That’s all just for starters.
In another area of music competition is a company called We Are Listening. Checking out their staff is intriguing. They’re based in London, but the Managing Director is Israeli by origin, the Marketing Manager is Italian, the Production Manager is Bolivian, the head of the Production team is another Israeli, the manager of business and creative development is Indian, the Web Developer is German, and the company solicitor is Spanish. Oh, yes, the Office Manager is a Brit – and the only woman on the team. (Is this what life is like now in the European Community? LOL)
The company’s goal is to create professional opportunities for singer-songwriters in particular, and with that in mind they host the Singer/Songwriter Awards to enable people to have their music evaluated by the music industry.
You can listen to the We Are Listening song contest winners, finalists and runners up. Their music (both the original recording they sent in, and the arranged version done with Steve Williams) are available on the website. Unlike streaming radio, I found there was a bit of interruption when I tried listening, but it might be that my broadband is a little slower than some. (The thing’s got to travel 12,000 miles, for crying out loud!)
When you’ve listened to the various artists, you can vote for your favourite, and if you like what you hear, you can download a range of podcasts that consists of the site’s indie catalogue - for free (!) Ah, the joys of the internet, and how much time you can spend doing things on it….
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