Described as ‘protean’, ‘innovative, thorough, precise and imaginative’, Sean Quinn is a composer, vocalist, and writer based between Melbourne and Berlin. More recently, his practices revolve around processes of accumulation in composition; growing, extracting, learning, adapting and expanding upon itself in various manners as a means of interrogating one’s own compositional sound. It’s timbral work often contemplates the darker, ‘intricate’ and ‘poetic’, as well as ‘writing’; intense rates of metamorphosis that are balanced by extended spaces in which to traverse a multiplicity of musical outcomes. Sean has worked in solo, electroacoustic, chamber, orchestral and operatic spaces during his career, proving to be an active and ‘formidable’ member of the international contemporary music scene.
Many of his works have been performed internationally by some of the world’s finest performers, including clarinetist Richard Haynes (CH), percussionist Luis Azcona (CH), bassoonist James Aylward (NL), percussion collective Speak Percussion (AUS), soprano Tony Arnold (US), members of Ensemble MusikFabrik (DE), The Thinking Minds Project (UK) amongst others.
In February 2021, Sean was invited to the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover to briefly present his work for wind instruments, as well as precept.percept.concept III workshop (.alfabet). He was a participant of the Ensemble Offspring Hatched HOME Academy in 2021 and is an Artist-in-Residence at Arts Numbers & Letters (USA) in 2022 and Chateau Orquevaux (2023) and A-i-R at TAKT Zeitz (2023), and has accepted Fellowships at the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont (2021), the Impulse New Music Festival in Los Angeles (2021) and Ensemble Offspring’s Hatched Composer Summer School (2022).
A vast range of commissions await in 2022-23, with commissions from Studio Musikfabrik (DE), Collide-O-Scope Contemporary Ensemble (NYC), students of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (NL), There is no air in space (EU), Ensemble Zeitstoff (DE), Tom Pfaffinger (DE), Gavin Stewart/Royal Holloway (UK) and Carl Rosman/ELISION (EU/AU) are in progress.
Outside of composition, Sean’s interests lie within the worlds of theatre, literature, and journalism as he balances his artistic practices with work in music criticism and theatre-making, as well as feeble attempts at authorial endeavours. These practices in turn are highly influential to his compositional practices.
‘Through the intricacies of the textures and timbres of incubation, Sean Quinn gives us in this piece a richly layered meeting of time. The past is not a dead thing; the future is not an abstract concept: together they coalesce as components of a living, breathing present.’ (Ian Parsons, PBS Radio 106.7FM The Sound Barrier)
‘innovative, thorough, precise and imaginative’ (Richard Haynes, clarinetist)
‘eve (I) by Sean X. Quinn, a formidable vocal soliloquy receives its world premiere. Incorporating glissandi, tongue trills, leaps of register, stammered and spoken word, Fraser performs with impressive versatility and flexibility.’ (Shamistha de Soysa – Sounds Like Sydney)
‘Some pieces explored their texts literally […] while others unwound their origins wildly, like eve (i) by Sean X. Quinn.’ (Michael Kaufmann – Limelight Magazine)