Photo: Marina Petric
Austin-based ambassadors of world music, the band Atash is embarking on an exhilarating musical journey as they engage in the creation of their highly anticipated next album this summer. Beginning with an inspiring visit to Spain, where the band will appear in the Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada on July 11, Atash will initiate the collaborative process, immersing themselves in the vibrant local community and traditions. In Granada, they will forge creative alliances with talented artists, absorbing the essence of the city’s rich cultural heritage. As a testament to their commitment to artistic unity, Atash is thrilled to release their exquisite new animated video, “Baaraan,” created in collaboration with acclaimed Austin visual artist and guitarist, Fumihito Sugawara, drawing on Persian mystical concepts as embodied in their music and in the poetry of the 13th-century spiritual scholar Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī.
Upon their return to Austin, Atash will continue to cultivate their collaborative vision by engaging with a diverse array of international artists, further enriching the album’s tapestry of sounds.
Through their collective efforts, Atash aims to transcend boundaries, celebrating the power of cooperation and uniting global traditions in a musical experience like no other.
The World-class Texas World-music Band
Austin, Texas is often recognized as a hub for live music, particularly known for its association with genres like country, blues, and rock. However, it may come as a surprise to some that Austin also played a significant role in nurturing the birth and development of the world-renowned world music band Atash.
Atash, formed in Austin in the early 2000s, quickly gained recognition for their unique fusion of musical styles, drawing inspiration from various cultures and traditions around the globe. The band’s name, “Atash,” translates to “fire” in Persian, reflecting their fiery and energetic performances that have exhilarated audiences around the world for more than two decades.
One of the fascinating aspects of Atash’s story is the band’s ability to thrive in a city that might not be immediately associated with world music. Austin’s vibrant music scene and its embrace of diverse sounds and genres provided the perfect environment for Atash to experiment and explore their musical vision.
The city’s rich cultural diversity played a crucial role in shaping Atash’s sound. Austin, with its welcoming atmosphere and a wide range of cultural influences, allowed the band members to collaborate with musicians from different backgrounds. Atash seamlessly incorporates elements from Persian, Indian, African, Latin, western classical, rock, jazz, and Middle Eastern music, creating a truly unique and eclectic sound.
Atash’s rise to prominence can also be attributed to Austin’s supportive music community. The city’s numerous live music venues, festivals, and events provided ample opportunities for the band to showcase their talents. By consistently delivering high-energy performances that blended virtuoso musicianship, infectious rhythms, and mesmerizing melodies, Atash quickly gained a dedicated local following.
Austin’s reputation as a progressive and open-minded city also contributed to Atash’s success. The band’s ability to transcend cultural boundaries and connect with people from various backgrounds aligned with the city’s ethos of embracing diversity and celebrating different cultures. This open-mindedness allowed Atash to gain recognition beyond Austin, touring nationally and internationally – including in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall – captivating audiences with their infectious rhythms and soul-stirring melodies.
Granada: A New Phase of Growth
In early July, Atash will retreat to an estate in the mountains outside of Granada, Spain, reuniting with past band members and immersing themselves in the collaborative process to write and record new material. On July 11, Atash will perform in the 2023 Festival Internacional de Música y Danza in Granada, Spain, a significant achievement for the band and a testament to their talent and recognition in the music industry. The Granada Festival is a prestigious event that showcases a diverse range of music and dance performances, attracting artists from around the world. Being selected to perform at such a renowned festival is a validation of the band’s artistry and a great opportunity to reach a broader international audience.
The band’s decision to use their sojourn in Spain to compose their new album is a groundbreaking approach that highlights the band’s creativity and its commitment to pushing musical boundaries. By immersing themselves in a new cultural and musical environment, the band members will draw inspiration from the rich artistic heritage of Spain, including its traditional music, dance, international influences, and historical landmarks. This unique experience shall offer an opportunity to infuse their compositions with fresh ideas, textures, and influences, leading to a more distinct and innovative sound. Moreover, the band’s decision to unite with past members and collaborate with additional artists, including other members of the international artist community, adds an exciting dimension to its creative process, allowing the musicians to tap into their intersecting musical sensibilities and chemistry, introducing fresh perspectives, enriching their sonic palette, and potentially leading to unexpected creative breakthroughs.
Atash considers it a tremendous honor to be a part of the prestigious Granada Festival Internacional de Música y Danza, which not only grants them the opportunity to share their exceptional talent on a global scale, but also reinforces their role as international ambassadors for the vibrant music scene of Austin. By embarking on their musical odyssey in Spain, the band seeks not only to derive inspiration for their upcoming album but also to cultivate a fertile creative energy that will reverberate as they return to their beloved hometown of Austin. As they’ve done for more than two decades, Atash continues to transcend boundaries and bridge cultures, sharing the poetic language of music with hearts and souls around the world.
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