Born: 1976 Primary Instrument: Clarinet
Seán Mac Erlaine is a Dublin-based woodwind instrumentalist and composer, recognised as one of Ireland's most forward-thinking jazz musicians. Seán works in a variety of settings maintaining a busy performance schedule in Ireland and internationally, working in free improvisation, contemporary jazz, folk music and experimental theatre.
An accomplished instrumentalist, Seán plays alto and soprano saxophones as well as clarinet and bass clarinet. He holds a first degree honours Masters of Music (Jazz Performance) from DIT and a Diploma in Jazz Performance awarded by The Guildhall School of Music, London. He is currently a PhD candidate at GradCAM (Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media), developing a practice-led research around live electronics in solo woodwind performance.
Seán performs with a hugely diverse range of musicians and artists reflecting his own versatility and interest in cross-platform work. Within the field of jazz he has worked with leading Irish players including Tommy Halferty, Mike Nielsen, Ronan Guilfoyle and Simon Jermyn, and international artists including Frank Gratkowski, Hayden Chisholm, Christian Weidner and Christian Skjødt. Seán has also played with a range of folk / traditional musicians including Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh, Iarla O’Lionaird, Martin Tourish, Eithne Ní Chatháin, Petter Berndalen and Lorcán Mac Mathúna. In contemporary circles he has performed with The Smith Quartet, The ConTempo Quartet, David Toop, John Godfrey (as a member of The Quiet Music Ensemble) as well as a once-off performance with Detroit techno legends Underground Resistance.
He has performed his own music at many festivals such as i & e festival, The Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures, DEAF, Bottlenote Festival, Cork Jazz Festival, Bray Jazz Festival, Foligno Jazz Festival, Linköping Folkmusic Festival, Celtic Connections, Dublin Fringe Festival, The Dublin Theatre Festival, The Kilkenny Arts Festival, 12 Points! and The Venice Biennale.
In 2007 his group Trihornophone won Music Network's Young Musicwide Award, Seán was awarded the 2008 Cork Jazz Festival Best Young Irish Artist Award. In 2009 Dublin Institute of Technology awarded him the ABBEST Scholarship to undertake a practice-based PhD in around live electronics practice. He was nominated for Best Sound Designer and won Best Production at The Irish Times Theatre Awards 2010. He is a founder member of Bottlenote, a collective of creative musicians working in improvised and new music (www.bottlenotemusic.com). Seán can be heard on over 30 CDs and his work has been released on several international labels.
Awards:Irish Arts Council Awards 2006-2013 Cork Jazz Festival Best Young Artist Award 2008 Music Network's Young Musicwide Award 2007 Culture Ireland 2013 etc...
Reed-player Seán Mac Erlaine, who is involved in quite an array of creative projects in Dublin, has only recently taken to solo improvisation. This performance confirmed what had become clear even on his first public outing in that role: that he has the confidence to persue his own purposes without feeling the need to show everything he can do in every piece or to indulge in flash display. “ - Signal To Noise Magazine.
There followed a solo performance from Irish saxophonist Sean Mac Erlaine. In complete contrast to the music that came before, he played three short pieces on different instruments, each resembling a passionate, soulful John Butcher, shifting from bleak mournful passages to jagged skronky free jazz, often falling in and out of extended techniques. Not my usual cup of tea but in context a surprisingly welcome interlude of direct human expression. - Paris Transatlantic Magazine
Free spirited and adventurous...it is refreshing to hear young musicians taking risks and pushing the boundaries...an encouraging example of the spirit of innovation current in Irish contemporary music - The Journal of Music.
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