The Next Wave scheme, an initiative set up by Sound and Music and NMC to support composers at the start of their profession, has been an extremely exciting project to be a part of and has undoubtedly impacted positively upon the careers and practices of the 12 young composers involved. Besides the obvious benefits of having a professional recording made available for public download, as well as a high-profile performance at HCMF, what was uniquely attractive about this project was the amount of time given to each composer to develop and refine their work.
It has been almost a year since we presented our initial ideas for the project. Then, following a week of intensive workshops during the spring, we had a further few months to rework and polish our final compositions. Having been afforded so much time, I feel I was able to truly realise the ideas I set out with. As a result, I regard Moby Dick as perhaps the most substantial and considered work I have written to date, representing the focused coming together of many of the compositional ideas I have been exploring over the last couple of years. It is for this reason particularly that I would like to extend to Sound and Music and NMC my sincerest gratitude and thanks.
Besides the particular structural concerns, discussed in my programme note and video, I suppose one aspect of my work I would like listeners to appreciate from hearing Moby Dick is my readiness to draw upon whatever musical influences I feel are necessary to improve the effectiveness of the composition. Recognising that we are most fundamentally products of our own experiences and cultures, I consider it very import in my work to engage critically with the diversity of influences that have informed my own personal understanding and appreciation of music, from early childhood curiosities to current preoccupations; though I feel all creative artists are on some level doing just this, consciously or not. Consequently, my music often plays on the periphery between a number of (apparently) established styles and genres; in a way that is distinctively my own, without really committing fully to this or that.
This concept of ‘play’, as well as humour, have an important role in my work, not least for their promise of whizzing endorphins and free abdominal workouts, but because such qualities can often reveal the parts of myself I might not otherwise care to acknowledge. I think the ability to recognise and ridicule one’s own insecurities is one of the rare (and free) luxuries afforded to us and is in my opinion not celebrated nearly as often as it should; particularly in Art. Although there are few gags or gimmicks in my work, there is I hope a playfulness which gently brings into contention both the things I enjoy in music and the things I feel deserve more critical attention.
Listen to an extract from Ryan's Moby Dick
Interview with Ryan
Ryan's Top 10 Tracks.. and a few more!
Below is a very small selection of pieces that have over the years influenced me in some way. Ranging from the works of composers I admire, to teachers who have inspired me, to music from my upbringing. I think it was supposed to be my ‘Top 10’ but I found it much too difficult to choose and it seemed just as arbitrary a number as 18, so here’s my Top 18. Interestingly, some of the material from one of these tracks makes a brief appearance in my piece Moby Dick. Answers on a postcard.
Explore Ryan's Music Map
Moby Dick is available on the Next Wave album featuring all 12 new works from the Next Wave composers.
1. Weiwei Jin: Sterna Paradisaea, Returning
2. Maya Verlaak: All Verlaak's Music is Alouette
3. Eugene Birman: The winter desert of my silences
4. Edwin Hillier: hibeh
5. Ji Sun Yang: KAIROI
6. Georgia Rodgers: partial filter
7. Ben Gaunt: Filling Rubin's Vase
8. Michael Cutting: I AM A STRANGE LOOP III
9. Oliver Christophe Leith: hand coloured
10. Barnaby Hollington: Velvet Revolution
11. Paul McGuire: Panels
12. Ryan Latimer: Moby Dick
Artists: Loré Lixenberg, Sarah Nicolls, Oren Marshall, Sound Intermedia, London Sinfonietta, Garry Walker
Download the album here.
Photo: Stuart Leech