It's not just the 17 Irish bands heading to Austin, Texas, that will be hoping to make a break in their careers at the annual South by Southwest festival (SXSW) in March. The festival may have started as a music one, but it's the interactive portion that gets equal billing each year with thousands of budding young technologists flocking to the city in an attempt to spread their message, apps or new platforms. And the Irish are in contention on a worldwide stage once again.
Last year, 45Sound, an Irish site which replaces the terrible audio on cameraphone clips with full-quality mixing desk sound, made it to the final of the South By Southwest Music Technologies Accelerator Award.
This year, WholeWorldBand takes up the baton in the same award by becoming one of just eight finalists out of hundreds of entries.
The brainchild of Kevin Godley, the Ireland-based 10cc musician and Godley and Crème music video director, WholeWorldBand (wholeworldband.com) is an audio/video recording tool that enables musicians to collaborate with songwriters on new music.
Established musicians including The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood, Republic of Loose's Mik Pyro, The Coronas' Danny O'Reilly and Gemma Hayes have contributed a basic track that others can take and collaborate with their instrument of choice.
The original songwriter can then pick and choose the recordings they like to add to their song, creating a mosaic-style video of all the contributing musicians. So, for example, you get a finished track based on Ronnie Wood's song augmented by backing vocalists, guitarists and a drummer.
Beyond that, anyone can start a new session for a song for others (the platform calls it a 'seed') and the opportunity to earn money from performance can be set by charging others to contribute to the record.
We'll find out how it gets on in March in Texas, where it's up against the likes of Tastemakerx, a social game for music discovery, and BioBeats, a music app based on the human heartbeat.