Austin’s House of Songs, the cultural exchange program which pairs some of the city’s best songwriters with visiting troubadours from around the world for unique and mutually rewarding co-writing opportunities — and in turn sponsors trips abroad for Austin songwriters for similar residency programs overseas — will be the focus of an 30-minute documentary on PBS later this month. A trailer for the House of Songs episode of Arts in Context, a series produced by Austin’s KLRU-TV, can now be seen on YouTube, with the episode set to air Oct. 31.
There’s actually more than just the trailer available online, though: The full episode can already be viewed on the Arts in Context page on KLRU’s website right here.
“The House of Songs is actually a physical house, which we’re standing in now, but it’s also an ideal,” explains HOS founder, visionary and chief ambassador Troy Campbell in a clip from the trailer. “I own this house, and it’s only used for art.”
The Arts in Context episode features interviews with (and performance clips of) a host of artists from Austin and around Europe, all waxing on the nature of songwriting and the rewards of meeting and working with musicians from different countries and cultures. It also follows Campbell and fellow Austin songwriters like Matt the Electrician, Bettysoo, and “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb — along with some of their new European friends — to a House of Songs showcase at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, and even to the south of Denmark for a songwriting retreat in a 16th century alchemist’s castle.
Suffice it to say, if you’ve ever heard about the House of Songs but never quite fully understood what exactly it is or does, this short documentary makes for an excellent introduction.