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
I've been told that the amount of emails was cause for confusion. In addition, people are using a wide variety of methods of contact (including social media platforms) which is inefficient and can lead to confusions over agreements. Emails are the preferred method of communication with Red & Black Music for ease of traceability, archiving and auditing.
So, to make it easier for everyone, in addition to doing our best to restrict the amount of informative-only emails; we're setting up an additional failsafe: any email requiring a response/action on your part, will be accompanied by an automated text message highlighting that an action is required and the deadline for this. You may opt out of this service, however please note that you will be automatically re-subscribed if you fail to reply to an e-mail query within deadline.
Please ensure you have given the correct email to us and that you have added firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list. If you have any doubts, please drop me an email and I'll check and update contact details as necessary.
Please email: do not text back to the notification text, as this message is sent out using an automatic system.
Please update me by e-mailing email@example.com if you prefer to opt out of text notifications or if you need to update your contact details.
Please help us keep conversations/agreements on e-mail so that they are easily traceable, archivable, and allow for fewer misunderstandings.
Have you ever let yourself get talked into something? Have you ever let yourself be led astray by false prophets? Have you ever found yourself drawn into a situation, only to realise that the person didn't actually mean what they meant, and that you took things too literally? Did you misinterpret something that they mentioned? Did you misread vital signals in their facial expressions, articulation, tone of voice and/or body language? Don't worry and take heed: you are not the only one!
This correspondence highlights 2 issues:
This case study explores how an unverifiable breach of artist contract can have knock on effects and create an unhappy client situation, and, in the worst case scenario, a potential implied breach (as explained by Musicians Union).
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.