Inspired by Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy, by Gil Evans and Maria Schneider, or also Alexandre Desplat, Benjamin Wallfisch and film music in general, Merlin Breij explores a rich and diverse musical world while seeking a musical expression that can be characterized as sincere and organic music, favouring rich timbres, and expressive melodies. In addition to his focus on arranged music, he has a keen interest in improvisation, influenced by the work of musicians from several instruments and different periods; from Jim Hall to Ingrid Jensen and Esbjörn Svensson.
Musician from his early childhood, Merlin started out with the French horn, seduced by its melancholic and powerful timbre. After several years of practice, he then switched to the guitar, which opened the path to the study and practice of a large spectrum of musical styles. During his jazz studies, first at the EJMA (School of Jazz and Pop Music) and then at the HEMU (University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Lausanne - Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and – currently - Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy) Merlin Breij develops and refines his musical approach with renowned teachers such as Vinz Vonlanthen, Emil Spanyi, Jeff Baud, William Blank, Francis Coletta and Julien Feltin. Composition and arrangement are at the heart of his musical work (often contrasted by improvised passages, where expression and interplay are at the forefront). From the start of his career, he composed for musical projects such as Cerulean Poppy, Délire II - after Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘’une saison en enfer -, “Hommage à Emanuel Carnevali” and Ink.; he also writes music for documentaries and commercials.