Location: Dublin Est: 2012

Potted History: “I’m an opera, theatre and video director and producer with an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School,” explains Heresy label boss Eric Fraad in one of the best opening gambits we’ve heard in a while. “My wife, Caitríona O’Leary, is a traditional Irish singer and we founded an Irish-based ensemble called eX in order to create fully-staged musical spectacles. As we were working with some of the leading singers and instrumentalists and guest directors in their genres, we decided to lengthen our production schedules to include recording. We recorded seven albums before we launched the label in March 2012.”

Mission Statement: “I’m known as a provocateur in theatrical circles; creating controversial interpretations of classical opera, drama and mash-ups of music, dance and literature is my signature,” continues Eric. “I’m basically a storyteller and my natural inclination is to create works that are non-linear, thought-provoking and surprising. When I founded the label, I decided to adopt a similar unorthodox ethos, hence the name Heresy. The idea was that each album would tell a story in a unique manner. What we hoped to manifest was a subversive art music label with a theatrical flair.”

Key artists & releases: You won’t be remotely surprised to hear that the label is wildly eclectic. Renowned for their work in the traditional, folk and classical world (in particular ‘The Wexford Carols’, a Number One album drawn from melodies that had, for the most part, been lost since the 18th century), of real interest here are their recent forays into electronic music. Working with a raft of contemporary Irish composers, including the likes of Daniel Figgis and Cathal Coughlan, their compilations ‘On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics’ and the recently released ‘A Map Of The Kingdom Of Ireland’, are highly recommended. Label mainstay Roger Doyle is an interesting chap too. The sleeve of his electronic opera ‘Heresy’ alone is a marvel, while his 2015 album ‘Time Machine’, based on answerphone messages he kept from family and friends in the late 1980s, is hauntingly beautiful.

Future Plans: “We have plans for both large expensive projects and small intimate ones,” concludes Eric. “I’m in conversation with a couple of artists including an electronic music composer in Germany that I believe will result in some very interesting new releases for Heresy. As for the dream – there never was one. I was working with many leading artists in a few genres and it seemed a natural choice to found a label and record the music that we were performing.”

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