Singapore, 7 July 2006 – Earshot, Singapore’s only book and music store that focuses exclusively on literature and music produced by Singaporeans or about Singapore, celebrates her first anniversary with a bang!
From its initial intent as a retail space fully dedicated to the promotion of Singapore’s books, music and film, activities at and industry response to Earshot, managed by The Arts House, have given rise to a set of new initiatives by the House which will be announced at its first birthday party.
“The intent of Earshot and our continuing work on it is a sign of our commitment to the development of the literary arts and music in Singapore. Through Earshot’s presence and its activities over the past year, several agencies and artists in the scene have expressed interest in collaborating with us in the areas of the literary arts and music. We are glad that we have been able to contribute and through these partnerships we hope to further increase our involvement in the development of these art forms here in Singapore,” said Mr. Phan Ming Yen, Director, Artistic Development. Artists who have held readings or performances here include poets Koh Beng Liang and Alan Ardy. Homegrown bands like b-quartet, Lunarin, ETC, all have performed at Earshot over the past year.
The most significant collaboration to have emerged over the past year is that of the partnership with the National Arts Council to co-organise the Singapore Writers’ Festival in 2007. This will be the first time The Arts House is directly involved in the organisation of an arts event on a national scale and also the first time that the NAC is co-organising one of its major festivals with a partner.
“The Arts House was the natural choice as our partner for the next Singapore Writers’ Festival,” said Mr Khor Kok Wah, Deputy CEO and Director, Literary Arts, NAC. “Not only do they have many on-going literary activities and programmes, but their creation of a unique, fully-realised retail space for Singaporean literature has made clear their deep, long-term commitment to the development of the literary arts in Singapore. Together with The Arts House, we will create an exciting programme with top writers at home and abroad, sponsors and partners.”
New literary programmes with other partners will also mark The Arts House’s calendar for the rest of the year. Together with the National Book Development Council of Singapore, The Arts House will be launching the Singapore Book Club which aims to expand the readership and audience for Singapore literature. The first meeting, on 14 July, will be delving into the underbelly of crime, in the book, Partners in Crime: A Singapore Murder Mystery, with author Ms Shamini Mahadevan Flint as a guest speaker.
The Arts House also welcomes back Word Forward, a non-profit organisation who brought the popular Poetry Slam programme to Singapore. Word Forward will be facilitating a writing support group meeting, Writers Connect, twice a month at Earshot besides holding monthly programmes in conjunction with the National Youth Poetry Slam League, also at Earshot.
In addition, this July sees a call for the next NUS/FASS-The Arts House Writing Fellowship. Launched in 2004, the first writing NUS/FASS–The Arts House Writing Fellowship was awarded to well-known playwright Huzir Sulaiman. The successful candidate is expected to produce an original work in addition to organising public programmes.
Regular performances by Singapore musicians at Earshot have encouraged The Arts House to create a new platform for its music programmes. Called, It’s All Talk: Music is the Language, this new platform aims towards encouraging musicians from different traditions and backgrounds to collaborate and experiment with the aim of creating new works that push the boundaries and challenge what is possible.
“It’s All Talk: Music is the Language is about dialogues between musicians from different genres and cultures in conversation with one another, with music as their vocabulary…” explains Miss Natalie Tan, Project Executive, Artistic Development, “We hope that through this dialogue, new musical works will arise, creating new experiences for audiences. We also hope that through these exchanges, audiences will get to know music which they otherwise would not have experienced.” It’s All Talk will be launched at The Arts House on 5 August.
In celebration of Earshot’s 1st anniversary, customers of Earshot will enjoy a 10 per cent discount off all books and CDs in the bookstore throughout the entire month of July. In addition, customers who spend $15 and above at the bookstore will also receive a ticket to the film The Unbearable Lightness of Being which is shown at the Screening Room this month.
The Arts House at the Old Parliament
Opened on 26 March 2004, The Arts House at the Old Parliament is the only gazetted historic government building which has been designated as an arts and heritage venue. The 180-year-old building was originally built as a home and subsequently became Singapore’s first Court House and former Parliament House. The Arts House is now a multidisciplinary arts centre that offers visitors the opportunity to create their own mix of activities from a palette of contemporary, arts entertainment and lifestyle options through a broad spectrum of engaging, contemporary arts and entertainment events. The Arts House is managed by The Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee. For further information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg
For media queries, please contact
See Ling Ling
Manager, Marketing Communications
The Old Parliament House Limited
1 Old Parliament Lane
Tel: 65 6332 6903