Skip to main content
Third piece

Piece by Piece 3: Seán Mac Erlaine

  • Watch performances

IMC and Triskel come together to host a weekly sequence of online performance called Piece By Piece featuring leading Irish improvisers, which kicked off on Friday 10th April.

Each artist’s input performance will influence the next performance in this musical chain. Piece by piece, artists will create new improvised work, based on the preceding work. Improvising musicians are uniquely skilled at interpretation and spontaneous creation allowing for fresh creation of the highest calibre and a unique 'live art' experience for the Piece By Piece online audience.

The third link in the chain comes from Seán Mac Erlaine. Seán has been making music with woodwinds and an assortment of instruments professionally for twenty years. Usually his home studio is a play room to prepare for concerts that take him to many places around the world. For this video, he invites us in and creates a performance at home.

Q 1. How do you think the world of music is changing or will change as result of the COVID-19 crisis?

A slow bewildering of the planet has brought up many things for the peoples of the world. Personally I’ve found it a mixed ride. Old anxieties I thought I had extinguished come flooding back to upset me and my carefully planned self-control. I’m not going to proclaim what it does to the world of music but in my music here I’ve turned to the drawn bow, the hand hammered gongs from Wuhan, the foetal drum, the bambooed alto flute, the single note, the raging Wurlitzer, the disembodied car horn and the old saxophone.

Q 2. How do you think about engaging with material or ideas from another artist when improvising?

For Piece by Piece I wanted to draw on the preceding sets by Shane Latimer, Oleysa Zdorovetska and Nick Roth. I’m really interested in gesture and movement and so my piece opens with a common gesture between the three pieces – bowing. I loved Nick and Oleysa’s structure with their poems interspersing the bigger piece and so I’m borrowing that and weaving single instrument, single note ‘poems’ throughout my video piece.

So, thanks for listening. When I was finishing the edit on this I learnt that Lee Konitz had died probably just a few hours before I recorded the saxophone part here. One of THE true greats of truly improvised music. We can never calculate how one musician really passes on the music to another. We are all just dust in the cosmic whirlwind of vibration.

Catch the premiere of Seán's piece on Friday 24th April at 20:00hrs GMT+1 by subscribing to IMC's YouTube channel or Triskel's Facebook.

Piece by Piece 1 Shane Latimer: Hear Shane's piece HERE, and read his reflections HERE

Piece by Piece 2 Nick Roth & Olesya Zdorovetska: Hear Nick & Olesya's piece HERE, and read their reflections HERE

Back to NEWS

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to the IMC newsletter to keep up with the latest in Irish Jazz.

Sign up

Help us hold that note

Help support artists, and make the musical world in Ireland a richer place.