Talk of the Town NWA takes great pride in welcoming newcomers to Northwest Arkansas. It is a delight and honor to welcome The House of Songs Ozarks to our community. The House of Songs or THOS opened its Austin house in 2009 coupling local and international songwriters in a 12 day immersion of collaboration and friendship. Believing that “Music is the global handshake,” THOS participants blend their unique cultural and musical experiences to co-create new original songs. These songwriters are showcased for local residents free of charge at various venues. The Walton Family Foundation has helped to facilitate the opening of this second house in our area.
Troy Campbell, founder and president, says that the inspiration for THOS has been an expanding vision born after meeting Danish star singer-songwriter, Poul Krebs back stage at a New Orleans songwriters convention in 1999. After accepting an invitation from Krebs to join him at a songwriting retreat in Denmark, the expansion of this international connection continued. In addition to the original Austin THOS, other THOS sponsored songwriting collaborations have been hosted in 13 other countries. Campbell said that the name, The House of Songs, came to him in an instant when asked what he would call his organization. He later found that the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrian referenced “garo demana” or House of Song as the place where righteous souls would go. Of note, this writer in reading about Zoroastrian found that ancient high priests or Magi (possibly the wise men from the East) had associations with the Zoroastrian Religion.
Saturday, August 26 was the Open House for THOS Ozarks. Guests were able to tour the house located on Southeast C Street in Bentonville. The rooms in the house are each named for famous songwriters including Arkansas’s own Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The event was hosted by Campbell and his wife along with Clayton Lillard who is the House Manager for the Austin House. Bernice and Bryan Hembree, organizers of the Fayetteville Roots Festival, will be helping to welcome the international guests as well as introducing them to local songwriters.
The first guests to the Ozark house are set to arrive September 7. There will be a free concert at the The Preacher’s Son, 201 NW A Street in Bentonville on September 10 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m as well as a screening of the documentary co-directed by Campbell along with Austin Tolin, Albert E. Brumley: Songwriter of the Ozarks. Campbell summed up his impression of Northwest Arkansas with a simple, “I had no idea.”
Click to learn more details about…The House of Songs
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