Hugh Sheehan is a musician—multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer— from Birmingham, now based between the UK and Finland. He has equal footings in traditional Irish music and contemporary classical music, and the coalescence of these two worlds is supplemented by an adolescence spent in guitar bands and a continued preoccupation with club culture and electronic music.
Much of his work is concerned with questions of sexuality and gender, contemplating, for example, the conflicts inherent in queerness, the quandary of assimilation versus radicalism, or the unknowability or codification of desire. His debut album Shapes That Are Different was released in June 2022 via Hybrid Forms. Under the Radar says of the record “Sheehan offers a poetic ode to queer iconoclasm, examining the daring power inherent in queer existence.”
Sheehan plays with and writes for several projects, including his own ensemble, and duos with Timo Alakotila, Maija Kauhanen, Leija Lautamaja, and Charlie Grey. He also creates music and sound for concert hall, theatre, moving image, and dance projects. In 2020 he was commissioned by BBC Arts and Arts Council England to make an audio work for their New Creatives series. In 2022 he was commissioned by The Sunday Boys and Melo'Men through Institut Français’s fund for contemporary music to write a large-scale new work for low-voice choir and accordion.
In addition to his artistic practice, Hugh is co-founder, and former co-director and chairperson of The Trip to Birmingham TradFest, an Irish traditional music festival in the UK’s second city. He is also the founder of Helsinki concert series/record label Hybrid Forms.
hughsheehan (at) me.com