Sean Quinn is an emerging Australian composer, advocate and writer based in Melbourne, Victoria. After graduating as the top music student from St Kevin’s College, Toorak, Sean entered the Melbourne Conservatorium to begin his path of tertiary study in composition. Although Sean has never had any formal compositional training, aside from brief study in VCE, his list of works sits at around 30 completed in total, with plans of premieres set during 2020. This list ranges from solo works, large scale orchestral feats and indeterminate works using a variety of notational practices. His most recent success was found in his work Angler for 19 players, which was performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre and Iwaki Auditorium in March, 2019 – recorded as the largest-scale project in the history of the Top Class and Top Sound events.
Sean’s interests in composition are never settled, as he is constantly traversing a variety of stylistic and aesthetic practices. Having experimented with graphic and text notational styles, he now works primarily with a complex language of fixed notation, inspired by composers such as Ross Edwards, Olivier Messiaen, György Ligeti, Peter Sculthorpe and Liza Lim. More recently his interests have landed him in the worlds of anthropology and emotional development, and how ecosystems – both natural and human-made – interact and communicate. These interests have also led to research into cultural identity and how music has affected the world over time, and how music can affect the modern day.
Moving into 2020, Sean is planning a variety of community-based projects that are built for the purpose of engaging people with New Music on a visceral level. His passion for New Music in education has stemmed from the lack of it that exists in school syllabi and he hopes that his endeavours will allow for a better acceptance and understanding of the developing world of New Music.
He is the founder of the Children of the Millennium ensemble; a rising group that plans to debut in the near future, playing music written for the group and by composers who write in the 21st Century – performed by students born after 2000. He believes in making the unconventional seem normal, rather than obscuring it and making it seem ugly or inaccessible.
Other future projects include a new Flute Concerto – Fever-Fusion-Dream, to be premiered late 2020, a cycle for Saxophone and Piano – biome tales, and three series of works – the plantations, the Forest’s Mind and Terminus for various performers. When not composing, Sean enjoys reading, attending the theatre and writing poetry. He has contributed articles and reviews to Cut-Common and Fever-Pitch Magazines.
‘With my two arms, I do not aspire to to touch the sky.’Sappho (35)