Seán Mac Erlaine · Music For Empty Ears


Music for Empty Ears


Seán Mac Erlaine · woodwinds, electronics, wurlitzer // Jan Bang · live sampling, samples // Eivind Aarset · guitar, electronics

A new trio configuration of Seán's music featuring 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 the fore. It is music that plays with the balance of shifts between dark, brooding electronics and light-filled moments. Mac Erlaine's individual voice on woodwinds combines seamlessly with his nuanced understanding of live electronics and meets the signature Norwegian soundworld of Bang and Aarset. Their 2018 album on Ergodos solidifies Mac Erlaine's status as a singular and visionary musician. It's an album that reveals more and more with each listen and, with a bespoke design and print by Dublin design studio Distinctive Repetition, the heavyweight vinyl of Music for Empty Ears is a beautiful and sumptious object to hold as well as to hear.


“A set of lavish tonal pieces, honed to luxuriate in their ensemble sound rather than individual display. Through a hall of mirrors, a search is on for beauty… Music for Empty Ears is a seductive listen, with a distinctive voice all its own.”

~ The Wire, June 2018

“A sonic story that will play with your perceptions of time and space, and make your ears beat with pleasure. A world of wonders, surprises, haunted melodies and melancholic impressions. This album is a gem.”

~ The Whole Note

“Norwegian Eivind Aarset is in a class of his own proving that lyricism and raw noise aren’t contradictory.”

~ The Guardian

“[Jan Bang is] defying all misconceptions about the vast potential of electronic composition.”

~ All About Jazz

Seán Mac Erlaine

Seán Mac Erlaine is a Dublin-based woodwind instrumentalist, composer and music producer, recognised as one of Ireland's most forward-thinking creative musicians. Seán's work intersects folk, free improvisation, jazz and traditional music. He also collaborates with a range of non-musical artists particularly in theatre and radio.

Seán maintains a busy performance schedule in Ireland and internationally working with a hugely diverse range of musicians and artists reflecting his own versatility and interest in cross-platform work. He has performed with leading musical figures including Jan Bang, Bill Frisell, David Toop, Ernst Reijseger, The Smith Quartet, Hayden Chisholm, Eivind Aarset, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Frank Gratkowski, Iarla O'Lionaird, Phil Minton, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Damo Suzuki and many more. He has performed as a special guest with Detroit techno legends Underground Resistance as well as Irish supergroup The Gloaming.

Eivind Aarset

Eivind Aarset is a guitarist with a unique musical vision that absorbs and reflects all manner of music while retaining an enviable individualism and high quality craftsmanship that can span from quiet intimacy to searing intensity. His debut as a bandleader on Jazzland Recordings was described by the New York Times as "One of the best post-Miles electric jazz albums," setting a high benchmark that Aarset has consistently met and exceeded, both in the studio and in live performance.

As one of Norway's most in-demand guitarists, Eivind Aarset has worked with Jon Hassell, David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Jan Garbarek, Paolo Fresu, Marilyn Mazur, J.Peter Schwalm, Mike Manieri, Marc Ducret, Michel Benitas Ethics, Martux-M, Stefano Battaglia, Michele Rabbia, Talvin Singh, and Andy Sheppard. He has worked with Nils Petter Molvaer's band, (appearing on all of Molvaer's albums, including the breakthrough album "Khmer" and 2006's award-winning "ER"). He also has collaborated with Dhafer Youssef, both live and in the studio.

Jan Bang

Jan Bang started his professional career as a successful pop producer in the 1990s. His creative thrust and pioneering work in developing the concept of live remix has led him today being constantly in-demand as producer and performer.

His pioneering use of samplers in live performance put him in the league of true innovators of electronic music: “I had the idea of using musicians as ‘input’ to my sampler instead of vinyl,” recalls Bang. “We called it ‘live sampling.’ I found it appealing to work in a live situation with improvised music where things change at the blink of an eye. I was able to work in past, present and future, according to what the other musicians were doing and how they reacted to what I was throwing back into the mix.” Many prominent musicians and guest curators have contributed his Punkt project, including Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Laurie Anderson and John Paul Jones. Bang is also associated with Sidsel Endresen, David Sylvian, Nils Petter Molvær, Arild Andersen, Eivind Aarset, Bugge Wesseltoft, Arve Henriksen and Erik Honoré.