From: Essence Music
This is a follow-up post from our original Event Diary #1.
In 2015, one of our agents was added to our weekly Event Diary following on from them Bcc'ing all artists requesting them to update them on their summer availability. 2 years later, the same agent requested to be removed from our weekly Event Diary, but didn't acknowledge or address any of the points in the email: that this was a consequentiality.
We are left guessing as to why this is the case. It may be that the agent is too "busy" to manage their workload, and is struggling to keep on top of emails. Alternatively, it may be that the agent is trying to be polite by not acknowledging or addressing these points, and, somewhere in the hazy background, may be offended by the content of our informative communications. However, in not communicating why, we are again left to speculate. What's the alternative?
Read below for the full story.
Read further to understand why "Thought for the week" is now a regular fixture as part of our Event Diary.
Quoting Provisional Availability
View our online Diary
What happened to Diaspora Collective?
Stop the talking!
People ask questions, and when answered, do not respond. People are asked questions and an answer is not received. Subsequently, a phone call or a face-to-face meeting happens, conversations/discussions take place, and simply vanish into thin air without a trace, without being committed to written record and/or followed through. Almost as if the conversation/discussion didn't take place at all! Thus, one begins to question one's own sense of reality. Yet when topics are picked up on in writing, people fail to respond. The blank email inbox and innocently empty mailbox conceal a hidden agenda of swords and daggers. They indicate an absence of communication and a lack of accountability. It's this that we challenge at its route source.
Whilst talk is a reasonable form of communication in articulating a "shared vision", this is only a temporary illusion. It's emotionally and spiritually effective, whilst physically and psychologically ineffective. In its fluid, intangible form, it's an obstacle to accountability. In business contexts, talk should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. We're human too. We like to talk and share a good feeling. It's lovely and nice (depending on the context). However, whilst easier in the short term, talk creates confusion in the long term because it's not committed. Why have a two part thing of talk then having to commit it into writing afterwards when you can simply skip step one and formulate everything straight into writing? Just keep it in the back of your mind that talk raises the threshold of disappointment. Things can be said and not substantiated. Moments are lost and forgotten. Communications aren't picked up on. People are too "busy"* to follow things through effectively and translate talk into action.
*busy = inability to manage one's own time.
Let's simplify communications. Let's reduce communications to their basic, elementary form and strip out all of the emotional confusion that is the enemy of solid, concrete accountability. Let's communicate information neutrally and transparently. Yes, I repeat: talk is a reasonable form of communication, but in its fluid, transitive, time-bound transmission, lacks accountability and is an inferior, deficient form of communication. Simply because it's impossible to verify/falsify what was discussed/agreed (unless it is committed to a sound recording, which throws up a minefield of technological complexities). On the other hand written communication puts action into account.
Phone lines down
Please note: all of the below is intended as a joke. Get real! Book through Red & Black Music
The Rory Duffy JazzFunkSoulPop Experience is an exciting, eclectic group of musicians offering a distinct vibe and a unique sound, emerging from Jazz, Pop, Soul and Acousticy-Folk/Jazzfolk wish wash music, creating a vibrant drama on and off the stage. With the most sought after professional musicians, the crème-de-la-crème of talented, fresh-faced graduates from the London colleges, its members are all busy, experienced pro session musicians who have come together spontaneously and recorded a spin-off demo/music video, which simply happened overnight.* The band have collectively performed at all venues from notorious jazz haunts around London to the stately homes of the exceedingly rich and famous.
*via twitch of an eyelid and a vague hand gesture, combined with a generous dollop of social jargon, fluke and a general impression of interest /street credibility among the session circuit.
Omitting vital information for the sake of simplicity.
This is another way in which our 2 primary values of communication and accountability link to one another.
It's a tricky balance.
Read, compare and contrast the following extracts.
Read also: Why are our quotes so complicated?
What a nightmare!
A case study in how not to book a band. Since it is fairly lengthy and drawn out, the threads have been broken down to highlight each stage of the negotiations. Below is a breakdown of the 18 negotiation email threads. Click on each heading in the contents to quickly jump to a stage. Please note since some threads happened simultaneously, these are arranged on separate tabs to present this more clearly and chronologically. Please also note that the spelling has been corrected in some cases, but typos have been left in for effect.
On 16 Mar 2017, at 13:08, Anne Louise wrote:
On 24 Mar 2017, at 14:03, Anne Louise wrote:
From: Anne Louise
What's on your mind?
Facebook asks me “What’s on your mind?” I’m not usually one to answer this question in public for fear of persecution but it all comes down to this widespread notion of “universal truth”, which can manifest itself as a form of assumption, miscommunication and laziness = mother of all disasters. Many individuals have their own moral compass, their own ideas of right and wrong. Accepting it is one thing. Embracing it is another. I can’t justify or assume a "one size fits all" approach without objectifying/qualifying it. How can one “just know” without learning it first? Osmosis? We’re all born different. We’re all conditioned differently. We all think differently. The issue is a lack of understanding and collaboration.
Please note: a confirmation does not constitute a contract. We still require a contract to honour our original quotation, even if the date(s) are confirmed. An additional holding period may be allocated to allow for the contract signing, subject to our discretion. Otherwise, our original quotation only applies until the end of our original quotation's reservation period, regardless of whether the date(s) are confirmed or not. We cannot be held to honour our original quotation if a contract is issued after this point.
Our quotes increase incrementally according to the notice at which we sign a contract, and it is our policy to close all enquiries 5pm Friday the week before at the very latest, to avoid costly trains/hotel fare hikes. We appreciate your understanding.
We reserve our best deals for enquiries made in advance. For more information, please visit www.redandblackmusic.co.uk to find out how more money could be saved by booking in advance.
Event Diary 26/10/2015
From: "Essence Music Agency"
We ask all of our musicians to make sure that they keep us updated with their availability at all times, ahead of any enquiries/quotations. Quoting 'provisionally available' (rather than a straight 'available') allows us to respond more quickly to enquiries (which don't always become bookings) without having to harass everyone every time there's an enquiry. We then re-confirm 'finally available' once the client has confirmed, at which point we would let them know if, for example, the lead vocalist isn't available after all but we can provide a deputy, giving the opportunity for the client to back out prior to the contract being signed.
It's really vital for us to know in advance any date(s) of non-availability that are likely to change or challenge the availability of the production, so that the client knows who they are booking from the outset:
Another classic example of a musician putting themselves forward for work without first reading the guidelines or addressing the information in the email interview. His uses of the term "busy" also signify a conflict of interest situation further down the line.
Read & Blog
The "Watch Blog"
Please note: full names, addresses and contact details of private individuals are omitted for data protection purposes (unless already made public elsewhere online).
A category naming and shaming unreliable musicians to watch out for.
A category reporting unscrupulous venues and traders.
A category exploring the issues faced working via agents and promoters.