Elena studied classic violin and composition at the University of Surrey, England, from 1996 to 1999, graduating with an honourable mention. In 2003 she started studying at the Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she completed a degree course and master’s degree in modern singing and singing pedagogy.
Elena lived in the Danish capital from 2002 to 2015. There she was part of the underground scene in the ILK collective. Together with her friend Johanna Borchert, and with the name of Little Red Suitcase, the pair recorded five albums, four of which were nominated for the Danish jazz Grammy awards. “Temporarily Out of Order” received the Danish Ministry of the Arts Award in 2009. Elena also received a scholarship from the Danish Ministry of the Arts in 2015.
That same year Setien returned to San Sebastián, the city of her birth. From here, Elena continues her career as a creator. In November 2017 she received the Basque “Musika Bulego Saria” for her second solo work “Dreaming of Earthly Things”. In September of the same year, Elena signed with the iconic Chicago label, Thrill Jockey, due to release her next album in February 2019.
Worthy of mention among Elena’s latest collaboration projects are her participation in María Stuart’s piece at Copenhagen’s Syndhavn Theatre in the summer of 2017, and the composition, together with Ignacio de Bilbao from Grande Days, of the feature film by Koldo Almandoz Oreina (Deer) in 2018.