Introducing… Ensemble :: Music Done Differently

Introducing… Ensemble :: Music Done Differently
September 3, 2014 Rob Farhat

It’s time for something different. For too long, the Irish music industry has been trying to find the next U2, while largely ignoring the hundreds of unique artists that push the boat out and try to do something unusual. In an increasingly conservative music industry, most artists who try to do something unique have not been getting the management, promotion, and record label support they deserve, and it’s a crying shame.

We want to change that. We believe that it is possible to combine good business, marketing, and production with supporting unusual music. But barring a few small exceptions, no one is really doing it. Most of the acts in Ireland that have good Poly-Tunnel management and wind up getting an international record deal are pretty safe – not necessarily bad, but safe – while the artists that try to do something different either have to go it alone or set up their own small labels with little means or business acumen. We hope to combine the best of both worlds.

For now, we manage a handful of artists, and promote concerts. We’ll release music as a label too when we’re ready, but we want to build a strong foundation Fury first rather than jumping into that minefield. Eventually, we’ll serve as an “all in one” middle man for many of the artists we work with, combining the traditional roles of manager, booking agent, concert promoter, record label, publisher, etc. into one. A simpler, more efficient system that means less people taking a cut, leaving a larger slice of the pie for artists.

Musically, we want to work with artists who cross genre boundaries – particularly with a classical or jazz influence. We both come from a classical music background and were always put off by how much the classical world boxes itself in a corner, looking down its nose at most other types music as inferior. That’s not actually how musicians think (at least not anymore), and it’s certainly часы not how audiences think. Both have become more genre-neutral, and as far as we’re concerned the more diverse a work of music’s influences, the better. We give the artists we work with complete creative freedom and we’re willing to take that risk.

But who are these chancers we hear you ask? Well, we previously ran the Trinity Orchestra and were behind its shot to fame a few years back, along with being heavily involved in other exciting arts projects like 10 Days In Dublin. We then got some big $$$ marketing and production experience in senior roles at the Web Summit and Riverdance respectively. So a healthy mix of successful DIY music projects and a solid business grounding.

But most importantly, we both still perform and this is a very much a company run by musicians, for musicians. We don’t see ourselves as competitors to any of the current players in the Irish music scene, nor do we see any of the them as “bad guys”. They all do their own thing very well, we just feel that there’s a gap that needs to be filled.

The reason we think this could work is that we reckon we’ve figured out how to use the internet for music. That may sound ridiculous,  but what online marketing actually makes possible is to spend small amounts of money – say on an up-and-coming band’s gig – and get a good return on eigen it which you can measure. That wasn’t possible with traditional marketing, it’s a potential revolution for small acts and labels. But very few people, if anyone, have figured out how to do it effectively yet. We think we have.

We launch on 27.09.2014 with the ENSEMBLE LAUNCH FEST in Block B in Smithfield, a mini festival from 3pm ’til late featuring 10+ of the artists we’ll be working with in the coming months and years, including Alarmist, Bantum, Ensemble Eriu, Loah, Téada Orchestra, and ZASKA – full details + tickets here and you can listen to a playlist of all the acts playing below.

Immediately after that, we’re putting on the first full music, theatre, and dance production of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale in Dublin in 30-odd years, in the Smock Alley Theatre’s Boys’ School on 2-4 October – full details here. Then we’ll have a full schedule of gigs and events through to the end of the year, which we’ll be announcing very soon.

We hope 27.09.2014 will turn a page on how music could and should be organised in Ireland. We’re taking a risk but we think it’s one worth taking, or at least trying. We’d love you to join us and be a part of this adventure – once this launch is out of the way we are very open to suggestions and to working with anyone who wants to try something out of the ordinary.

Music done differently.

Nice one,

Rob Farhat + Rob Kearns

You can read more about the principles behind why we started Ensemble, how it works and who we are here.

Tickets for the ENSEMBLE LAUNCH FEST are available for €10 plus booking fee until 12.09.2014 here, eventually rising to €15/20 on the door.

Listen to a playlist of the artists playing the Launch Fest below:


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