Project ATX6 has just returned from “Austin Week” in Angers, France, where its members performed several shows last week as part of a cultural exchange with one of Austin’s sister cities.
The event is billed as a film, tech, food and wine festival, but Project ATX6 has helped infuse music into the mix as well. A second-year organization that helps bring a half-dozen Austin musicians to several international events, Project ATX6 features Gina Chavez, Elsa Cross, Jana Horn, Brian Kremer, Silas Lowe and Jonathan Terrell in its 2015 class.
Following their July journey to North by Northeast in Toronto, the six musicians and organizer Chris Brecht spent nearly a week in Angers performing at venues including a pub called Joker’s, a theater house at the University de Angers, a record store called Exit Music For A Drink and the steps of the Jardin du Musee des Beaux Art.
Rain canceled one scheduled outdoor show along the river, but it didn’t seem to dampen the group’s spirits. “The ATX6, as Jana Horn puts it, are very much like a family,” Brecht wrote in a recap of the week’s events.
Turnout for the university show was sparse, but the pub gig drew a nearly packed house, Brecht reported, with Lowe closing the night by playing a song on the mandolin in the midst of the crowd. Afterward, the six musicians returned to their quarters “and stayed up well past 4 a.m. playing music in the courtyard,” Brecht recalled.
Collaborations bloomed during their days in Angiers, he added. “Now Silas joins Elsa on mandolin for every song. Jonathan and Jana continue to work on their harmonies and share a truly intimate performance together on (one of Terrell’s songs). Brian and Gina, who nearly perfected their set in Toronto, finish the night off together.”
The last stop for this year’s Project ATX6 cast is Nova Scotia for the Halifax Pop Explosion festival in late October. Brecht has been filming the performances for a documentary he’s assembling, with several clips of last year’s participants currently posted on YouTube.