On October 27th and 28th, Irish music series Other Voices marked its 10-year anniversary with two sold-out shows at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. The 3-hour-plus program featured an interwoven lineup of Irish and American musicians as well as several notable Irish writers. The program featured Glen Hansard (The Frames/The Swell Season), Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National), Bell X1, Martha Wainwright, actor/director Gabriel Byrne, National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, and many others. Each night also featured several surprise guests including Laurie Anderson, Justin Vivian Bond, Sharon Van Etten, Trixie Whitley, and Damien Rice who made a rare live appearance.
Co-Curated by Glen Hansard, Thomas Bartlett (Burgundy Stain Sessions), and Philip King (Other Voices series editor), the concert was the first Other Voices event in America and featured unique collaborations mixing traditional Irish fiddle tunes, poetry readings, and contemporary rock music from both sides of the Atlantic. The concert as a whole was immersive and engaging in a way that the best travel experiences can be – allowing one to recognize the familiar and foreign as an inseparable mix, re-contextualizing a place and a people in a fresh and vital way.
Proceeds from the events benefit the Fighting Words Centre in Dublin, a writing center for Irish youth founded by Roddy Doyle, author of ‘The Commitments’ (the novel later adapted to the popular film that starred a young Glen Hansard.)