Sparky Conversations #13: Implicit Trust - Collaboration in New Music with Seán Clancy

10 May 2024 12:00

Photo by Tom Earl


Sparky Conversations #13 - Implicit Trust: Collaboration in New Music with Seán Clancy

Music making across the world can be thought of as an essentially collaborative activity. It is something people do together. Think hard enough, and you can conceive of a way of describing even solo performances as a collaboration. What happens then, if we make the collaborative nature of music more explicit, becoming the fundamental principle that steers a body of work, in an environment that traditionally has privileged and celebrated sole authorship? Drawing on the collaborative practices of visual artist Sol LeWitt, Fluxus, and the AACM as a springboard, CMC Composer Seán Clancy discusses how unique and exciting compositional strategies can be formed by finding the Other, trusting them implicitly, and aiming for utopia.

Seán Clancy is an experimental musician from Dublin. His music has been described as ‘Equal part sacred & seductive’ (Tempo); ’An affecting reminder of minimalism’s capacity to feel deeply personal and purposeful’ (The Quietus); and ‘Beautifully simple yet elusive’ (The New York Times). His work deals with translation, examining minimal compositional strategies over extended periods of time, and devised collaboration. Recent pieces include Where the Paths End (2023), a 30 minute piece for ensemble, electronics, and location recordings commission by Zubin Kanga’s UKRI Cyborg Soloists project for Plus Minus Ensemble with three accompanying soundwalks around Edinburgh, Birmingham, and London; Amaechi (2022) (with Michael Wolters), a 2022 Commonwealth Games commission for singers, percussionists, electronics, basketball players, and projected text; Nowhere Better Than This Place (with Andy Ingamells) (2023/2019) for visual musique concrète, electronics, projected text, and video (reprised at Dublin Fringe Festival 2023; and Inventions & Canons, an immensely intimate album for acoustic instruments, electronics, and location recordings documenting life surrounding the year 2021. His latest album 'Four Sections of Music Unequally Divided' is an exhibition of hypnotic explorations into non-prescriptive compositional structures and musical material. Seán is an Assistant Professor and Ad Astra Fellow at University College Dublin.


This is a free, online event designed for composers, performers, and those with an interest in contemporary music on the island of Ireland.

Closed captioning will be available. If you have specific access needs to join this event, please let us know via the registration form.

Register for the Zoom event here.

Find upcoming Sparky Conversations here.