Ryan Garvey

Ryan Garvey playing guitar
Cohort Year: 2022


Composer and Performer, Ryan Garvey (b. 1993, West Warwick, RI), uses Improvisation, transcription, electronics, and rhythmic grids to create music focused on release.  

Ryan is interested in the phenomenon of listening. He finds opportunities to surprise and confuse the listener, asking them to expect the unexpected. Their music has been described by listeners saying it has caused “my baby to kick in the womb” and “a fire that never dies frightened me.” His research takes form by way of extended techniques, exploration of color through the medium of electronics, and the phenomenology of perception.  

Recent projects include Our systems were built to fail — Written for Ensemble Dal Niente at the Depaul Summer Residency for New Music using varieties of extended techniques. a fire that never dies —-commissioned in collaboration with Devon Osamu Tipp incorporates traditional Shakuhachi techniques into contemporary classical music, focusing heavily on electronics, they create dense harmonies triggered by pitch tracking and live electronics which all accumulate into a never-ending feedback loop.

His music has been performed in venues across the world including Leveld Knusnartun, SWT-Kulturwerk, Harvard University’s Studio 2, Scholes Street Studios, Holtschneider Performance center, MAYDAY, among others. His work has been pioneered by Ensemble Dal Niente, Loadbang, Harvard Radcliffe Modern Dance Company, the Horszowski Trio, Hypercube, and others.

He is pursuing his PhD in Composition at the University of Chicago, he also holds degrees in Composition and Modern American Music at the Longy School of Music (GD, MM) and Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Rhode Island (BS). His teachers have included Augusta Read Thomas, Aaron Helgeson, Wang Lu, Osnat Netzer, and Kirsten Volness, among others. He currently resides in Chicago.