Composition

Aileen (b.1994) is a Scottish composer, accordionist and arranger based in Glasgow and enjoys a varied career as a freelance musician. Her music is cross-genre, infused with the ornamentation, energy and colours of the Scottish folk music she grew up playing learning the accordion. Her music is often influenced by nature and folklore, as well as finding inspiration in current social and political affairs she is passionate about such as climate change, equality and politics.

Aileen has worked with and been commissioned by many of the UK’s ensembles such as The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Red Note Ensemble, The Nevis Ensemble, The Michael Cuddigan Trust, The Edinburgh Quartet, The Brodick Quartet, The Hebrides Ensemble and The Psappha Ensemble.

"The Wooden Web" was written during a residency with The Red Note Ensemble during Aberdeen's Sound Festival received recognition in The Scotsman which read  "the darkly glowing harmonies and rapturously intertwining tendrils of melody in Aileen Sweeney’s nature-inspired The Wooden Web stood out among a strong clutch of new works." David Kettle - The Scotsman

Aileen loves a natter and co-hosts the Ear to the Ground podcast, talking to Scottish/Scottish based composers about the work and promoting their music in partnership with New Music Scotland. 


In 2017, Aileen graduated from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours and subsequently a Master of Music Degree with scholarships awarded by The Dewar Arts Award, The Cross Trust, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and The North Lanarkshire Musical Trust. 

Performance

During Aileen's undergraduate degree, she was awarded first place for the Tony and Tania Prize for Solo Rare Russian Music and the Dunbar-Gerber prize for chamber music prize. During this time, she was also a finalist of the Edinburgh Concerto Competition where she performed Piazzolla’s Bandoneon Concerto, conducted by David Watkin.

Aileen has performed with some of the leading contemporary music ensembles in Scotland such as The Glasgow New Music Expedition, Ensemble Thing and NOISE Opera.

In 2016, Aileen founded the folk-fusion band Eriska. The band launched their debut album “At the Wrong Gig” in July 2018. 

Arrangements

Aileen has experience arranging for a variety of ensembles ranging from chamber groups to orchestra. The examples below show arrangements created for a recording session with The Nevis Ensemble as part of their 'Amplify' project. If you would like to discuss an arranging/orchestration project, please get in touch via the contact form.