Now in its fourth year, The National Arts Council’s (NAC) Noise Singapore saw a number of all-time record highs this year, making it the most successful edition to date. This will culminate in a showcase of works and live concerts from 5 to 29 March 2009, dedicated to celebrating the creativity of our nation’s young talents. All this was made possible by the eager response to Noise’s call for submissions, where nearly 2,000 young talents uploaded some 11,000 works of art, design, music and photography to the nation’s foremost youth arts festival, smashing the previous submissions record.



This edition of the Noise Singapore Showcase is bigger and more exciting than ever, encompassing an innovatively presented exhibition in the form of a ‘Noise Concept Store’ at LevelOne@Far East Plaza, a series of outdoor concerts and an online gallery of works on Noise website. Some 1,700 works of art,design, photography and music will be featured at the showcase exhibition, and were carefully selected by a curatorial team comprising of 16 professionals in their respective fields, such as Rai (of the popular music duo Jack and Rai), famed photojournalist Bryan Van Der Beek, and The Straits Times music writer Eddino Abdul Hadi.


NAC’s Director of Audience Development Ms Chua Ai Liang says, “Besides giving young artists a platform to showcase their works, Noise Singapore also aims to develop an audience to fully appreciate them. This is why we’re bringing the showcase to public spaces; to make the experience at the exhibition more interactive and accessible to the wider audience”. The Noise Showcase will be launched on 5 March at Far East Plaza by Guest-Of-Honour RAdm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications & the Arts and Education.


The use of media based platforms and technology makes Noise a unique festival that speaks to young people. Besides a Noise publication and CD, for the first time this year, Noise works will be presented in a new multimedia display – the Multitouch Interactive Table, an interactive platform where users will be able to scroll through digital artworks much like a scene from the movie Minority Report. This is also the first time that the Multitouch Interactive Table is being introduced to the public in Singapore.


This year’s Showcase also creates numerous opportunities for Noise Singapore artists to display their talents through creation of site-specific works (at LevelOne@Far East Plaza), a three-night concert at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (6 – 8 March 2009) and weekend platform at *scape (21 & 22 March) where they get to perform alongside established bands from the region. The main highlight of the concerts will be Noise On The Bay at The Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, where The Apprenticeship Programme’s music apprentices will take centre stage. Over the past 10 weeks, these promising young talents have honed their craft under the mentorship of some of the most established professionals in their fields including Don Richmond (Music) and Kevin Mathews (Music), and they will be showing off what they have learnt in the form of original music alongside Noise artists past and present, such as S.P.O.N.G.E, Duxton Plains and The Lion Story.



Noise is fast becoming a talent spotting platform. Each year, The Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) produces success stories that include apprentices being offered jobs by their mentors, release their first albums, and those who have gone on to win international awards (refer to Appendix D), and this year promises to be no different. 128 apprentice hopefuls applied to this one-of-a-kind developmental programme in Singapore (almost double that of the previous year), and in fact, out of the 20 prospective talents who were chosen, two apprentices have already achieved some measure of success – Rachael Teo is steadily becoming more popular with several gigs in the live music circuit, while pop-rock band EN-X is preparing to release a full-length debut album later this year. Following in the popularity of TAP, a series of developmental Noise workshops held last year also saw overwhelming response, with registrations for some going well beyond the allocated capacity indicating strong interest from our youths to develop their interest and capabilities in the arts. An encore series of workshops will run alongside the festival showcase.


Two contests that were organized this year also provided our youths with opportunities to work with Noise partners: a Noise T-shirt design contest where the best designs will be printed in limited quantity and sold online, as well as a logo design competition for the Singapore Festival Orchestra, where the winning logo will be adapted for use in promoting the Orchestra. These, including a number of collaborations between Noise participants and commercial entities (refer to Appendix D) have given talented young people a head start in their creative career.



This year’s record Noise levels have been made possible by the overwhelming participation by Singapore’s youths as a result of three fresh initiatives adopted by the NAC during the course of the campaign: an aggressive online campaign, initiatives to connect with the target audiences, and a raised age-limit. “When it comes to youth culture, the Internet is their turf and a significant part of their lives are played out online. We wanted Noise Singapore to be a part of that culture, so we developed a more interactive website to facilitate communication not just with the youths, but among them as well – a platform where likeminded youths can speak to each other and spark new creations and collaborations,” says Ms Chua Ai Liang. So in August 2008, a  was launched – with interactive facilities to encourage artists to share their passions.


To better connect with the target audience, a viral video released on YouTube, popular blogs, websites and forums, have been viewed by about 7,000 people with many positive reviews (refer to Appendix E). These and other online activities added up to an unprecedented online presence for Noise Singapore, and with the age limit raised from 25 to 35 years old this year, the festival was able to reach young working adults who contributed to some 20% of the uploaded works, bringing the total Noise uploaded works to record 11,000.