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Phillip Owen

I grew up the son of two school teachers in a variety of small towns across North & Central Texas. Born in Hico, raised in Stephenville, Corsicana, Rockdale, Georgetown and ultimately Austin. Because the family had summers off together, we would usually travel on road trips.  We went to all 50 states in the US.

As a young boy I often followed my Dad around with his work as a public school band director and musician.  I learned piano early on, then later the trombone and the guitar.  I usually found the inside of a band hall to feel like home and sheet music to laying around all the time.

I played guitar in garage bands in high school, college, and my younger adult years. I started acting in college and later trained in Suzuki/Viewpoints from the SITI Company and in Coporeal Mime with Blue Raincoat in Ireland. I have a BA in English from Texas Tech University, M.Phil. in Theatre Studies from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MFA in Sound Design from Yale School of Drama.

I had a few mentors who have inspired me.  My Dad showed me how to be a manly musician and musicianly man. Mom taught me to love. Dr. George Sorensen at Texas Tech taught me to make choices and commit. David Budries at Yale School of Drama showed me the creative tools of a sound designer and gave me confidence in a new career. Pierre Dupree at the Alley Theatre became a sound design brother to me. Michael Bodeen showed me how to pay attention to details as a professional.

Traveling from, but spending most of my life around, Austin, Texas has created a desire to find the musicality in ordinary things and everyday life. A place like Austin inspires people to “be themselves” in very creative and sometimes odd ways.  It builds an expansive sensibility toward art and meaning, the kind one finds in the landscape of Texas Hill Country or out on an open prairie. I curate disparate voices from different places to tell a unique story.

As Lecturer in Sound Design at Texas State University, I teach and mentor undergraduate students in the classroom and in production as sound designers and mix engineers.  I freelance as a theatrical sound designer and often bring along my students to assist me and gain real-world skills. They are the future.

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