BIOS PHOTOS PRESS
1. Where Americana meets Dream Pop from Austin, Texas
2. Singer-Songwriter Mariana Tirsa and her lush Americana sounds of Runaway Horse
Runaway Horse is the project of singer-songwriter Mariana Tirsa, based in Austin, TX, and originating from Taos, NM. Her music draws the listener in with the mythic sounds of the American West coupled with the far-reaching influences of our dream world. It is both grounded and cosmic, blending breathy echo-like female and male vocals, layered Shoegaze effects, with classic folk and Americana electric guitars, keyboards, and percussion to create a modern and mesmerizing sound.
Recommended if You Like:
Mazzy Star, Julia Jacklin, Marissa Nadler, Cat Powers, Emmylou Harris, Tarnation, Cowboy Junkies, Allison Krauss/Robert Plant, The War On Drugs
Mariana writes songs about transcendent mystical states as well as the harrowing trials of life. Her voice is delicate and has a calming effect like singers Allison Kraus or the more melancholic and smokey voice of Hope Sandoval or current day female crooners like Julia Jacklin. She approaches music and songwriting as a path of self-realization with a minimal approach but with the presence of current day songwriter Adrianne Lenker of Big Theif or master singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
Mariana chose to use a group name and moniker to represent the collaborative free spirit she loves in making music with other musicians. When Mariana discovered Emmylou Harris’ “Ballad of a Runaway Horse,” she was moved both by the poetry of the title and the lonesome, vulnerable spirit of the song. But it wasn’t until she learned that the song was a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Ballad of an Absent Mare” based on the Zen Buddhist 12th century Ten Ox-herding Pictures, a metaphor for the path of enlightenment, that she knew she had found the name for her music project.
Under the name “Runaway Horse” Tirsa has made music with several Austin musicians; producer/musician Daniel Barrett and long-time collaborators, Robert Musemann III, and Joseph Manzello. In 2013 her debut EP Beautiful Blue was made with Daniel Barrett acting as producer and multi-instrumentalist, and Dixie Chicks drummer Rick Richards. It was mastered by muti- Grammy winner Gavin Lurssen.
Following this release, Tirsa, Musemann, and Manzello worked with drummer Chris Schmitt and performed locally in Austin, TX. In 2015 the group made a transition and met three other musicians who would fill out the music into a full-bodied sound: bassist Alan Burrows, keyboardist Robin T. Smith, and drummer Jack Daniels.
As soon as this constellation of musicians came together, Tirsa wanted to capture what she felt was special chemistry and a unique blend of styles. In 2016 the group went to spend five magical days on the border of Mexico outside of El Paso at world-famous Sonic Ranch Recording Studios where the meeting point of several artistic and cultural influences converged: the Southwestern landscape, the Hispanic culture, and a diverse international creative community. They recorded in a partly submerged underground studio that for Mariana was like a Native American kiva like the ones she grew up near in Taos, New Mexico. This studio was also the same studio that the dream-pop band Beach House made a record. All these influences went into the second Runaway Horse album GLOW that has been unbundled into singles starting in 2020 with the song Diamond Through Stone and the remaining songs and the full album being released in 2022.
Mariana has continued to write songs over the pandemic and is planning a future recording of a new album to be recorded in Iceland in 2023.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCIES
Awakening the Divine Feminine Retreat, Threshold Society, Fall 2016, Lake District, UK. Mariana wrote and recorded two songs for the residency.
Mariana participated in the choir for top-charting New Age artist Cheryl B. Englehardt's song "Awaecnian" on "The Sleeper's Slumber" album Spring 2021.