Thursday, February 2, 2006

Philip King: The man behind Other Voices

Seeing Horslips perform live last December in a small church in Dingle was one of the musical highlights of my life. Here's a story on the series itself and how it has become one of the leading showcases for music in Ireland:

The King of Dingle

The programme is now generally regarded as a major success for Philip King, who is himself a noted musician, songwriter, radio presenter, music pundit and all round decent bloke – as well, of course, as a television producer/director of the highest calibre. One of the unlikely treats of the concept is that it’s all centred around a tiny church in Dingle, a long trek from the bohemian environs of Temple Bar or the technical surroundings of RTRs Montrose, places both musicians and crew might be more used to inhabiting.

“If you want to know the facts you can always consult the historians, but if you want to know how the people responded emotionally to what was happening to them you have to consult the poets and songwriters.” He says “In a real sense Other Voices is archiving the soundtrack of this generation, and that’s a very exciting thing to be involved in.”

So why record it in Dingle?

“I live here,” King replies, “This place had long struck me as a perfect setting, with a real toehold on the heart of the tradition.”

“Every creed, colour, kin and shade of musical persuasion can cross-fraternise and the end-point might be Afro-Celt Sound System fans hunting for Sean O’Riada recordings.”

The church setting is, he explains, a vocalist’s dream. “The voice is unlike any other instrument, it’s very personal, located closest to the heart – whether it’s Tibetan throat singers or Robert Plant or Tim Buckley, the sounds are related. As such, I’d obviously hope that diversity is a defining feature of the event – somebody listening to a different form, suddenly going ‘what is that? We recognise that’.”

More at the link. Requires registration.

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