Seán Mac Erlaine · Music For Empty Ears

April 6th: Project Arts Centre, Dublin
April 7th: Triskel Christchurch, Cork

April 2018 sees the release of Seán Mac Erlaine’s third album Music For Empty Ears on the Ergodos label. Following the critical acclaim of his first two solo records Seán is working with two of the leading lights in contemporary music, broadening his soundworld and embracing a collaborative approach. Norwegian musicians Eivind Aarset on guitars and effects, and live sampling pioneer Jan Bang bring an expansive, detailed palette to this work recorded in Oslo.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Screening & Live Score Performance

15th March 2018: St Patrick's Festival, Dublin.
18th March 2018: Home, Manchester.

A new collaboration with internationally renowned composers Matthew Nolan and Barry Adamson (Magazine, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), musician and composer Seán Mac Erlaine, songwriter and composer Adrian Crowley, and cellist Kevin Murphy.


This is How we Fly release Foreign Fields

Second album now available on Vinyl, CD, digital formats

Live dates announced at Sirius Arts Centre; Another Love Story; Sounds From A Safe Harbour; National Sawdust, New York City; Klaverfabrikken, Denmark; Templebar Trad Fest.

"This is music that effortlessly spans the worlds of traditional, contemporary, jazz and electronica, drawing listeners into its soundscape with a welcoming embrace. And even when This Is How We Fly veer into deep musical space, they lure the listener with them – at times by stealth, but never under duress." ★★★★ - The Irish Times

Stream / buy here

Bottlenote presents The Walls Have Ears

Cairde Festival Sligo | July 14th & 15th
A magical, site-specific experiential evening of new and improvised music featuring Phil Minton, Jennifer Walshe, Shane Latimer, Seán Mac Erlaine and Claudia Schwab. The Sligo event took place in ‘Breda Murphy’s House’, No. 2 John Street. Audiences are led from one room to another to experience a series of quiet improvisations, explosive sets and moments of magic.

Waywords and Meansigns

Finnegans Wake collaboratively set to music

New releases as part of a gathering of over 100 musicians and readers from 15 different countries to set James Joyce's Finnegans Wake to music. Seán Mac Erlaine: composition, producer, and bass clarinet; Dorothy Murphy: vocals, leader; Sue Rynhart: vocals; Georgia Cusack: vocals; Tuula Voutilainen: vocals.

More info

A Page of Madness
New live soundtrack

St. Patrick's Festival | March 16th, Trinity College Chapel

A rare opportunity to see arguably the most important Asian film from the silent era. The presentation will be accompanied by a new score produced by acclaimed Irish musicians and composers Matthew Nolan and Seán Mac Erlaine in collaboration with London based shakuhachi master, Clive Bell. A Page of Madness (1926) or Kurutta Ippeiji is a silent film by Japanese film director Kinugasa Teinosuke. It was lost for fifty years until being rediscovered in a shed in 1971. Teinosuke Kinugasa was the first director in Japan to realise his ambition of treating cinema as a distinct art form in its own right, divorced from the commercial concerns of the new mass-audience medium.


Chair upon Wood upon Stone
New work for cello and live electronics

Spike Dublin Alternative Cello Festival | February 12th, Hugh Lane Gallery

New commission in association with Improvised Music Company for Spike Dublin Alternative Cello Festival. Chair upon Wood upon Stone is a piece for cellist Kate Ellis and live electronics.

Duo Series #5
Seán Mac Erlaine with Jan Bang

Friday 25th November | The Fumbally Stables, Dublin 8

The series concludes with Jan Bang. The musical spheres Jan Bang works in revolve around such luminaries as Jon Hassell, David Sylvian, Brian Eno, Sidsel Endresen, Nils Petter Molvær and Arve Henriksen. From his work as successful pop producer in the 1990s, his creative thrust and pioneering work in developing the concept of live remix - improvising with electronics alongside more conventional instruments and performers - has led to him being constantly in-demand as a producer and performer today.


The Cap and Bells

Hopner House, Tallinn, Estonia | 3rd November

Major new commission setting poetry of Yeats for 10 piece Estonian new music Ensemble Avarus. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, a group of Estonian artists have decided to center their creative efforts around Irish culture this year. Over the time of the project, Irish, Colombian, and Finnish artists have joined up. Their work has produced seven new pieces of music so far, as well as a short film of music and dance by director Carlos Lesmes.


Dracula Live // Bram Stoker Festival

Saturday 29th October | The National Concert Hall, Dublin

Dracula Live presents the iconic version of Bram Stoker’s classic tale, screened with a new score written and performed live by Seán Mac Erlaine (Ire), Matthew Nolan (Ire), Eivind Aarset (Nor) and Sharon Phelan (Ire). In this 1931 original, Bela Lugosi stars as the screen’s most enduring vampire Count Dracula, with horror specialist Director Tod Browning creating the film’s eerie and chilling mood.


Duo Series #4
Seán Mac Erlaine with Valgeir Sigurðsson

Friday 14th October | The Fumbally Stables, Dublin 8

Valgeir is the founder of Greenhouse Studios, Iceland’s top recording facility established in 1997, where in addition to Björk, he has collaborated with artists such as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Feist, Damon Albarn, Camille, CocoRosie, Ben Frost, Sam Amidon, múm, Hilary Hahn & Hauschka, Brian Eno, Sigur Rós and many others.


This is How we Fly play The Spiegeltent at Dublin Tiger Fringe Festival

September 18th | Merrion Square, Dublin | 7pm

As part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival This is How we Fly will perform their largest Dublin concert to date at the Spiegeltent, Merrion Square. The group will take to the beautiful Speigeltent stage for their last Dublin city performance before they record the follow-up to their acclaimed debut album.


Bottlenote presents BLEED at Dublin Tiger Fringe Festival

September 21st - 25th | 13 North Great George's Street, Dublin 1 19:30 & 21:15 | €15/13

BLEED animates an abandoned Georgian house, creating a reverberating, pulsing space. The audience is led from room to room each occupied by a musician, guided by light design which highlights the patina and atmosphere of the house. A live collaborative tape piece is used, a technique of recording each performance and replaying that recording throughout the house as the next performance is occurring. With ten performances this creates an increasingly rich, layered ambiance where past decisions inform subsequent ones, with each musician adding to the composition over five days turning the entire four storey house into a huge instrument.

Barry Guy (double bass)
Shane Latimer (guitars, electronics)
Laura Hyland (guitar, voice)
Seán Mac Erlaine (woodwinds, electronics)
Justin Carroll (keyboards)
Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh (viola)
Roy Carroll (sound design)
Tobias Delius (tenor saxophone)
Steve Davis (drum kit)
Gavin Prior (guitars, electronics).


Quiet Music Ensemble headline Deep Minimalism Festival, London

June 25th | Southbank Centre, St John’s Smith Square | 8pm

Performing Pauline Oliveros’ The Mystery Beyond Matter and Jennifer Walshe’s Dordán in the new UK festival, Deep Minimalism, run by South Bank Centre. In the central slot of the 3-day event, 8 pm on June 25th, the performance will take place in one of London’s most prestigious venues, St. John’s Smiths Square. In the company of Oliveros and Walshe themselves, QME will join musicians and composers from all over the world in a celebration of “music that takes its time”.


Duo Series #2:
Seán Mac Erlaine and Unni Løvlid

Friday May 27th | Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin | 8:30pm | €18

A cycle of unique dialogues between one of Ireland’s most innovative and progressive musicians with similarly minded musicians from the European contemporary music scene. Norwegian folk singer Unni 'Løvlid’s voice is pure and direct, completely at ease with all the changing moods.' - Fiona Talkington / BBC.


Quiet Music Ensemble at Festiwal Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna

March 15th. Our Polish debut! Performing work by David Toop, Martin Iddon, Maciej Jabłoński, John Godfrey and Jennifer Walshe.


Music To Lean On | Fractured Air Mix

Ahead of a number of performances at Sounds From A Safe Harbour Festival curated by Bryce Dessner. Tracks from Vinicio Capossela, Jon Balke, Bob Dylan, Romica Puceanu, Paul Burch and others. "These are musicians I feel I can trust, to lean on, to deliver the goods when you might need them. I hope some other listeners find some of the same things here as I do."
- Seán Mac Erlaine, September 2015.

The Walls Have Ears | Dublin Fringe Festival

09-11 September 2015 | Showtimes 19:30 & 21:15

A site-specific promenade of improvised music in the atmospheric surrounds of a gloriously dilapidated Georgian residence. The audience, led from room to room experiences quiet improvisations, explosive sets and moments of magic from leading improvising musicians.

A leading figure of European improvised music and film scores, Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger (Werner Herzog, Winter & Winter) is joined by acclaimed Irish musicians including Seán Carpio (guitar, electronics), Shane Latimer (guitars, electronics), Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinets, processing), and Justin Carroll (keyboards). Prebooking only.


New Video

All Sung A Slender Song

The Iraqi landscape as seen through 1950s surveillance footage from the CIA. Repurposed and reedited for a track from Seán's second solo record 'A Slender Song'.

About the music...

Interview with Fractured Air

“I started playing live solo shows around 2006/2007 but in 2010 my approach and tools changed fairly radically as I packed up my dozens of hardware pedals and acres of cables (it just got too heavy for the bicycle!) and started developing and using customised software and a computer alongside my woodwinds.”

Read it Here

A Slender Song

New solo release | Available Now

Limited edition pressing on orange vinyl released by Ergodos Records. The end of year polls are saying: "An utterly original sonic space. ★★★★" ~ The Irish Times. Donal Dineen's Top three releases of 2014. Sixth on Nialler9's top 25 Irish albums of 2014. Now available in Tower Records, Dublin; Plugd Records, Cork; Harold Moores Records, London and online from Ergodos

More Information

Pulse Music / Ceol Cuisle

Radio homage to poet Micheal Hartnett

A sonic journey into the thoughts and poetic imagination of the late West Limerick poet Michael Hartnett. Directed and researched by Dylan Tighe. Original music and sound design by Seán Mac Erlaine. Featuring the actor Andrew Bennett and singers Nell Ní Chróinín and Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Listen Back / Free Download

Quiet Music Ensemble premiere Pauline Oliveros' Mystery Beyond Matter

Sunday 27th April | Nova, Lyric FM live broadcast with studio audience | 8pm

Commissioned by Quiet Music Ensemble with funds made available by the Arts Council of Ireland, The Mystery Beyond Matter is a major new work from one of the world’s most influential composers and performers, an independent and pioneering spirit who has been at the cutting edge of musical and technical innovation for many decades. The composition is for improvising musicians and sound engineer, live electronics, multi channel audio and unusual venues including radio and internet.

Amhrán na Leabhar | Long After The Music Is Gone

Traditional Irish. Arrangement, clarinets, electronics by Seán Mac Erlaine. Camera work & film by Donal Dineen. Available from Ergodos Records on vinyl, CD and digital formats -

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