Ensemble cancels release after Universal steps in

Ensemble cancels release after Universal steps in


norman lebrecht

August 26, 2015

A few days ago Mother Falcon, an Austin-based group that walks the gangplank between après-classical and indie pop, were about to release an album, Good Luck Have Fun, when the big guys stopped it.

Mother Falcon (how do you pronounce that?) got made an offer they could not refuse. The new album will now come out on Universal Music Classics in October.

Mother Falcon’s Matt Puckett says: ‘Good Luck Have Fun explores more deeply the indie-pop as well as the neo-classical sides of our sound. It’s new territory for us both sonically and now in our partnership with UMC.’

Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of UMC says: ‘I’ve been following Mother Falcon for quite some time now. Their classically-derived instrumentation and exploratory compositions set them apart. No one sounds like Mother Falcon. Their music is truly in line with the artistic vision of Universal Music Classics.’

So it goes.

mother falcon


  • Has been says:

    ‘Artistic vision’ you are kidding, right

  • Ivan says:

    Can’t wait for the holiday record with an opera singer.

  • David Rowe says:

    It is impossible for me to convey how disappointing I find this post. My respect for Elizabeth during her tenure at IMG Artists was limitless – she is one of the very best managerial talents I have ever known. So now, to see her presenting this as a classical artist….wow.
    I am not oblivious to the fact the world is changing, and that what people consider “classical music” may differ slightly. Still, this sort of willful mis-characterization, which I believe is done very purposefully to try and use the aura (if any still exists?) of “classical” to sell an unknown artist to the Universal Music Classics customer base (if THAT still exists?!), is truly harmful to those who treasure what most would label as classical music.
    Mind you, I am making no judgment here about Mother Falcon’s music. Some will enjoy it, others not so much. Same as with any music/genre/composer. My point is simply that when important leaders in the classical music field actively try to recategorize “classical music”, well, it is no wonder why organizations and musicians are struggling! Let’s please stop apologizing for our music, and cease trying to market it in ways that make no sense whatsoever. Let’s grow a pair, stand proudly, and make sure this glorious art form it is available to anyone who is genuinely interested and receptive to discovering it. It has never been for everybody. We do nobody any favors when we cynically manipulate established definitions for commercial gain, or to try and make the music we value (whatever the genre) appear more “hip” and “current”. Let’s evangelize for the timeless, spiritual proclamations of Schubert, Wagner, Beethoven, Bach, Stockhausen, Adams, Ades, and all the rest, rather than try selling them as something they are not.

    • Alvaro says:

      If label managers have to chose between artistic integrity and Releasing something that will sell CD’s or else they lose their job -what do you think anybody is going to chose? What would you do?

      • David Rowe says:

        I would resign rather than make such a choice!

        • Alvaro says:

          Easier said than done. I bet you my life you’d rather sign Donald Trump to sign ‘O Sole Mio’ before saying goodbye to a job like that. You’d rationalize it as follows: we’re only signing these guys so we can afford to sign other more ‘classical’ artists who wont sell CD’s. Honestly, its not far from the true, but in general the whole art form is simply destroyed – self interest will always prevail in a capitalist society, and the consumer is king.

  • PDQ.BACH says:

    Universalists can be real Mother Falcons.

  • Emil says:

    Even for a specialist of misleading headlines such as you, this is quite impressive.

  • Alvaro says:

    Its like watching rich kids trying to be Ghetto.

    Did anybody actually mention that they sound TERRIBLE??!? Any indie band of people who cant read music to save their lives has a much more authentic artistic value than this group of classically train musicians without opportunities to do as they were trained for. WTF? A bassoon, mandolin, acoustic guitar and trumpets/violins/cellos? Put me any band from nashville and they’ll engage the audience 50 times better. This makes 2 cellos look good.

    This sounds terrible – but I guess Universal is more desperate than one might think.

    • MK says:

      we aint rich, thats for sure

      • MK says:

        we are just a bunch of kids trying to make a living doing what we love, and if that’s a weird thing to the ‘classical world’ then i suggest you do what you love instead of insulting the hard work of my friends and family. Have a great labor day. I hope its full of more love then your comments. <3