Elaine Nolan is that rare multi-dimensional artist who moves easily from heavenly fine art to the meditative Earth below. She is a classically trained musician and singer, as well as an award-winning author.
Hailing from Co Laois, Ireland, Nolan was also prima cellist in the Celbridge Concert Orchestra, and has appeared with the Carlow Youth Orchestra and the Kildare County Orchestra. She is also a pianist and plays classical guitar and is learning the viola. She's sung as a soprano and a tenor with the Carlow Choral Society, the Wexford Festival Singers, and the Celtic Philharmonic Choir and recorded four albums as a member of the Irish Philharmonic Choir and performed with the group at Carnegie Hall.
No strict classicist, as a composer, she is daring enough to mix her classical and Celtic influences with electronic sounds (Cel-Techno, anyone?), a feat that would prove difficult to do effectively for most musicians. Nolan, however, pulls it off with her usual elegance and grace.
The pieces on her 2022 album Enchanted veer away from Nolan’s familiar modern classical style that’s rooted in her cello and piano work into a more ambient, multi-timbral sound that features exotic percussion, electronic sounds, and an entirely different compositional mindset. These are spacious tracks meant to induce long brain waves and bring about new perceptions and perspectives. They refuse any attempt to stuff them into a single genre box and are here to be interpreted by each new listener as they see fit.
However, Nolan’s 2018 release To Sleep Beneath The Stars is an album of earthy and graceful meditation music that's soft, compelling, and perfectly human.
The connecting thread running through Nolan’s body of work is her ability to make fine art that conveys her basic humanity to her audiences. No ivory tower recluse, her realness and emotion both expand beyond the bounds of the classical crowd and take up residence in the hearts and minds of any and all who encounter her work, whether musically or in print. Her stock in trade is the immediacy of the culture she creates and is exactly the kind of stuff of which careers are made.
She performed her debut work “Non Nobis”, a 3-part soprano work in April 2011, followed by her debut concert September 2012 and more recently “A Rebel’s Heart”, a 1916 Commemoration concert as part of Kildare County Council’s Commemoration Programme.
Her latest book is ReCrossed, the sequel to the police thriller Crossing Lives (2017), with accompanying soundtrack released on Spotify and iTunes.
Other titles by Elaine include Red Hot Summer and Of Heroes And Kings . Each novel, of course, has an accompanying soundtrack composed by Nolan, as well.
She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the Open University and has won the Cecil Day Lewis Literature Award. She is also a qualified Sound Healing Practitioner and returns to university 2022 to study Law.
Written by Mike O'Cull (Independent Music Reviewer)
Qualifications and Achievements
B.A. (Open) in Arts – Open University
Diploma in Music – Open University
Diploma in Information Systems – Trinity College, Dublin
Diploma in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology – ITEC
Diploma in Sound Healing Practitioner
commissioned by Carlow County Council
– Featured role as a Weather Forecaster
Emergence - Premiere solo performance - Shine Discovery Waterford (2018)
Adagio to the Dark - Performed by the Ebony Wind Quintet at Wood Quay (2017)
Kreasi Chi Gong – Performed by National Concert Hall Gamelan Nua in the National Concert Hall, Dublin (2017)
Auroral Eclipse – Performed by ICC Ensemble at IMRO (2017)
One Mother – an ICC collaboration with Spoken Word Artists, performed by Kate Ellis & Lisa Dowdall (2016)
A Rebel’s Heart – 1916 Commemoration Concert – Kildare Co Council’s Decade of Commemoration - Maynooth Church (2016)
The Round Towers – A six-movement orchestral work performed by the Celbridge Concert Orchestra (2014)
Debut Concert of Choral, Orchestral and solo performances – Performed in St Clare’s Church, Carlow (2012)
Compositional Debut – Leitrim (2011)
Piano Day Waterford - Cellist - with Dr Marian Ingoldsby and Pablo IA-Geso (Visual Artist) (2018)
Maynooth Church – Cellist & Tenor – Premiere of A Rebel’s Heart (2016)
NUI Maynooth – Cellist – Premiere of The Round Towers (2014)
St Clares Church, Carlow – Cellist, Pianist and Tenor – Debut Concert (2012)
Visual Arts Centre – Soprano – Premiere of commissioned opera Shelter Me from the Rain (2011)
Albert Hall – Tenor - Premiere of Karl Jenkin’s Gloria & Fauré’s Requiem (The Really Big Choir) (2010)
Wexford Opera House – Tenor – Inaugural Choral Concert (2010)
National Concert Hall – various years with Carlow Choral Society
Euro Disney Paris and Eu, France– Cellist with Celbridge Concert Orchestra (formally Liffey Valley Orchestra (2001)
Carnegie Hall, New York - Soprano – The Irish Philharmonic Choir – Faith of our Father’s Album US tour(1998)
New Jersey Performing Arts Centre – Soprano – The Irish Philharmonic Choir – Faith of our Father’s Album US tour (1998)
St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast, NCH & Wexford 1998 – Soprano – 1998 Commemoration Concert Series (1998)
The Point Depot (Now 3Arena) - Tenor – The Irish Philharmonic Choir – Faith of our Father’s Album (1997)
Register of Beneficial Ownership
Companies Registration Office
Employment Rights Inspector, Workplace Relations Commission (Formerly National Employment Rights Authority - NERA)
Employment Permits Unit
Government Supplies Agency - Office of Public Works (OPW)
Programmer and Junior System Analysis - Revenue Commissioners