A long distance love affair between Other Voices and the ‘Lone Star State’ was consummated in Austin, Texas in October 2016 when Other Voices headed west out of Dingle across the Atlantic on the musical expedition of a lifetime.
The line-up was a combination of Irish and international talent. When making the announcement, Philip King the founder of Other Voices said:
“To head to Austin, Texas has been a life long dream. When we made Bringing It All Back Home 25 years ago we never got west of the Mississippi…I have been dreaming about Texas since. When I think of Texas, I think of music; the blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Buddy Holly, Texas Swing, Kitty Wells, Towns Van Zant, Guy Clark and all of it shot through with “A Lone Star State of Mind”. Other Voices has a great affinity with that spirit…. one that is intact in Austin and that lives in the iconic Arlyn Studios, which will be our home this October. It’s a real delight to accept an invitation to Austin from the passionate and wonderful team at Arlyn. We have great empathy with their work and with their achievements. Freddy Fletcher is a hugely significant figure in music and in music television and himself and his partner Graham Brown have put a real welcome on the mat for us."
Mr. Freddy Fletcher of Arlyn Studios said the coalition of Other Voices with Austin will open a new chapter in the musical encyclopedia.
"It is an honour to play a part in bringing such an iconic music series to Austin. Other Voices' rich history complements the vibrant spirit of our city, and we look forward to coming together in our shared passion for music to continue creating meaningful content."
In addition to importing Other Voices to America’s proclaimed ‘Live Music Capitol of the World’, the renowned and historic, Arlyn Studios, will be its new sister home. A fixture and recording hub for Austin’s vibrant music community, Arlyn Studios has attracted the industry’s most legendary artists including: Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Charles, Sublime, Coldplay, The Strokes, Gary Clark, Jr and Andre 3000, to name a few. The 7,000 square foot facility occupies a portion of the historic Austin Opera House in the heart of downtown Austin and is one of the best-equipped recording facilities in the country.
Other Voices hopes its Austin Adventure will reap a dividend too for Irish tourism and draw new global attention for the Wild Atlantic Way, with the Other Voices Festival of Dingle being a key ingredient each December. The Creative Minds programme initiated by US Ambassador to Ireland Mr. Kevin O ‘Malley has played a crucial role in cementing the relationship between Other Voices and Austin. The Ambassador travelled to West Kerry last December and welcomed the spirit of Texas to Dingle. This new US/Irish relationship is a legacy of this very significant Creative Minds initiative.
“The relationship between Ireland and the United States is deep and warm and exists on multiple levels. In a world which is shrinking by the minute, however, even this type of relationship is not guaranteed to continue at its current high level. Globalization—good for so many other things--- causes us to look beyond our current relationships. Creative Minds was launched to find new, innovative connections—with technology, culture, entrepreneurship, and music—between the next generation of Irish and American leaders. There is so much creativity in both countries. Our series just connects the right people to insure that our great relationship continues to grow.”
Mr Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, Ireland's successful industrial and technology development agency, welcomed this creative fusion between Ireland and Texas. "Austin is one of the most creative, innovative places on the planet; a place where culture and tech collide, a place where tradition is very important. That is why IDA opened an office in Austin in 2014. There is much to learn and capture in Texas. And like Austin, Dingle, the home of Other Voices and the West of Ireland is already a richly creative place. Developing stronger linkage between these two places will foster innovation. IDA Ireland recognised the importance of Art & Culture in building national identity which can have positive and tangible economic impacts.”
The Consul General of Ireland in Austin, Mr Adrian Farrell praised the coalition between Ireland and Austin:
“The new Irish Consulate in Texas is delighted to welcome Other Voices to Austin for its collaboration with Arlyn Studios. The cultural and musical bonds that tie Ireland, the US and Texas together date back centuries. Ireland’s cultural and creative sectors are as vibrant as ever and like Austin, we're proud that our music, our imagination and our creativity make Ireland an attractive destination for investment and for tourism. The new creative strategic partnership between Other Voices and Arlyn Studios celebrates the dynamism of our cultures and heritage and will further strengthen future creativity and innovative approaches to doing business across the Atlantic."
Other Voices’ Music Producer Aoife Woodlock has been heading to Austin for the last ten years to attend SXSW. It is here she has met artists such as Ibeyi and Shakey Graves and invited them to Dingle.
“I first met Graham Brown as part of Laura Marling’s band in Dingle. We reconnected on a boat on the Colorado during SXSW in March 2015. We hatched a plan, "What if? Imagine?!” At this year’s SXSW, Arlyn's Graham, Freddy, Christa, Lisa and I had an epiphany. We went to the Studios and visualised how Other Voices would look and sound. Our vision is now a reality and a little piece of Dingle is on tour to the Lone Star.”