How music collectives like Paul Hourican of Ireland’s Blackbird Sounds inspire creativity

What is a Music Collective?

When you hear the term “music collective,” you may immediately see visions of artists at Woodstock, sitting in a circle, jamming away to their experimental musical sounds. And in many ways, this image does indeed accurately reflect the core concept of a music collective. However, a deeper understanding of the term can be found in the goals of the groups and the artists within the collectives themselves.

Music collectives are a unique collaborative group in that they differ from bands entirely. The artists involved in collectives do not play the same music per se but rather share some overarching theme whether that is a vision, a genre, a story, or even the same songwriter. The goal of any music collective is to inspire creativity. There is no rigid membership or hierarchical status within the group. Instead, artists share ideas and collaborate. Each brings something unique to the table. Members may be in constant flux and thus, the collective grows bigger and smaller throughout its existence.

Paul Hourican Ireland: A True Troubadour

Paul Hourican Ireland’s music collective, Blackbird Sounds illustrates the idea perfectly. Dublin-born Paul Hourican has been writing music since the late ‘90s. In London, then New York and Dublin, Hourican spends his days writing and collaborating. He remarks on being inspired early on in life by some of music’s greats such as Oasis and Bob Dylan. Hourican’s sound has often been described as a unique blend of guitar blues and catchy pop that appeals to a wide and diverse audience.

In 2007, he pivoted his career by starting Hurricane Records, his own label. With this new venture, he engineered a deal with Warner Music Ireland. This gave him both experience and exposure, and a firm understanding of the music industry’s intricate business side. Paul Hourican works hard and often in solitude to hone his ever-evolving craft.

Blackbird Sounds Comes to Life

Though Paul Hourican Ireland enjoys singing the music he writes, he feels that much of his repertoire is more suited to other voices, specifically to female voices. His true passion lay in writing the music and he often envisions it being performed by other artists. Thus, Hourican’s most recent career pivot has led him to create Blackbird Sounds. Under Hourican’s direction, various artists bring their personal styles to his melodies in this music collective. Blackbird Sounds represents the beginning of a new creative chapter for Paul Hourican Ireland in that the featured artists will breathe fresh life into his songs and give them the shape he envisioned for them while writing.

Paul Hourican Ireland likes to think of himself as somewhat of a troubadour in terms of vocal style and his overall nature. He fits the singer-songwriter vision spot on. However, in his mind, his folky style does not always best suit the songs he writes. Blackbird Sounds enables other artists to bring their own talents and styles to his lyrics and melodies and to fulfill the vision with which he wrote them.

Blackbird Sounds Inspires Collaboration and Creativity

Paul Hourican’s new musical project illustrates the purpose of a music collective in its most candid form. Music is meant to be fluid and to bring about emotion. Hourican, himself says his main objective when writing his tunes is to alleviate sorrow and to stir emotion in listeners.

By joining multiple artists together under the same unifying discourse, creativity has room to flow freely, in fact, it is encouraged to.

Hourican has written hundreds of songs and joined multiple artists together to perform them. Between the many unique voices and creative musical stylings, a myriad of artistry is born. As in any music collective, the true goal is to stimulate creative collaboration and ultimately, to produce transcendent music.

Now, how does Blackbird Sounds differ from a band? Paul Hourican Ireland’s music collective brings together the talents of many, as a band does. However, where it differs is that it does not aim to have a universal or homogenous sound. Each artist will take on a different song of Hourican’s and bring to it their own ideas and talents under Hourican’s direction. The tracks will differ in sound and concept from one to the next in a way that the albums of bands do not.

What’s Next for Blackbird Sounds

Blackbird Sounds’ first EP is set to hit the stands in the latter part of 2021. You can expect Hourican’s vintage sound to ring through the EP with the addition of the other artists’ unique tones, qualities, and styles. His primary purpose behind the collective is to showcase his

songwriting abilities through the talents of others. Blackbird Sounds represents Paul Hourican Ireland’s vision for his songs and the true meaning of a music collective.

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Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.
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