For over a decade now, the hallowed, humble, crumbling walls of the 200 year-old St. James Church in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland have played host to Other Voices, the seminal music TV series recorded each December in this small fishing town at the edge of Europe.
Over the years, Other Voices has welcomed some of the world’s most eclectic music-makers and captured on film scores of unique, one-off live performances. Household names and raw new talent journey from across the globe and over a few wintery days and nights create musical magic together on the world’s coolest miniature sound stage, St. James’ Church.
Four artists take part in the daily recording process - in the morning and afternoon, weather-beaten recording crews and sleep deprived bands lurch from stranded ancient shipwrecks to the warmth of fine local hostelries, canning one-off acoustic rarities and informal chats with the show’s presenter. Each evening, the artists, and a handful of true music fans – there’s only room for seventy souls under the sweating eaves of St. James’ - descend upon the church for a collection of unique Other Voices performances, captured live on camera. The scale of the church, its beautiful architectural detail and the light flooding through its old stained glass windows create an intimate ambience. During filming, the atmosphere in the church can turn without warning from reverential silence to bombastic altar- side rampage, depending on the artist who has taken centre-stage.
Over the years, the recording of Other Voices has become a music festival in its own right, embraced by the local people of this world famous Kerry town, who wouldn’t bat an eyelid on finding a famous face sitting across the bar from them. In December, Dingle is a beautiful, magical, special place, a respite from the harried sell-sell of Christmas, a chance to enjoy a hot whiskey, an impromptu session and roaring turf fires.