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Rylan Gleave (b.1997) is a composer and vocalist from the north of England, currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. His compositions over the last few years have included chamber works about navigating neurodiversity, defiantly Queer sound art, morality-tale narratives for Deaf actors, duets for out-of-tune piano and snoring, and relaxed concert music for children with Additional Support Needs. Rylan is fascinated by addressing the intersectional issues that overlap in his identity and communities in music, and strives to address these issues as both composer and performer, often taking to the stage in his own pieces.
Most recently, Rylan has been awarded the Musician’s Company Silver Medal 2020, becoming a Young Artist of the company for the next five years. He is grateful for the support that the next few years with the company will hold, and extends his thanks to the Composition Department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for the nomination.
In international collaborations, Rylan is one of JACK Studio’s Artists, 2020-2022, with his work, in waves, selected for a professional recording project by JACK Quartet. in waves was originally commissioned by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for the Edinburgh Quartet, in collaboration with The University of Stirling Arts Collection, Beag Horn, and Kirstie Cohen. The piece moves from fairly traditional notation to more open graphics, encouraging a sense of freedom and timelessness for the players to explore. Lines from Beag’s poem accompany certain gestures, inviting the players to think about mood, phrasing, and colour in connection to musical material. Open strings and folk-influenced melodies play into the soundworld, reminiscent of St. Kilda, the archipelago off the coast of the Hebrides that Kirstie’s artwork depicts.
It was premiered by Crossing Borders Music, in Chicago, who selected it for a concert of Disabled composers around the world, and invited Rylan to co-host as a featured artist. Crossing Borders Music broadcast in waves again at the Back of The Yards Chicago Public Library, with Rylan as a panelist. Tom Clowes has remarked that he can ‘almost taste the salt’ whenever listening to in waves, and Rufus Isabel Elliot has described it as ‘post-Fennessy’.
Earlier this year, Rylan was awarded 2nd Prize in the Diversity Initiative Call for Scores 2020 Septet Category, and an Honourable Mention in the Trio Category. His septet In a sea of screaming I hear your voice will be premiered by the Diversity Initiative’s ensemble in Austin, Texas, 2021.
Locally, recent commissions have come from sound Scotland, Red Note Ensemble, Nevis Ensemble and Hebrides Ensemble. Diversions with his work Permanent Address played by the Hebrides Ensemble, in collaboration with Drake Music Scotland, was awarded two Scottish New Music Awards, 2020; The RCS Award for Making it Happen and The ISM Music Prize for Collaborations, and will be performed again by Red Note Ensemble in soundfestival 2021. winding through seaweed was premiered on BBC Radio 3; Classics Unwrapped, within Nevis Ensemble’s Lochan Sketches 2020, and will feature in a specialty concert on Trans Radio UK, 2021. Rylan has been fortunate enough to work also with The Cumnock Tryst, Composers+ Academy, DaDaFest, Sonic Bothy, National Theatre of Scotland, National Youth Dance Company of Scotland, Any Enemy Ensemble, and RCS MusicLab.
Commissioned by Live Music Now Scotland and Kimie Trust, in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Rylan was awarded the Kimie Composition Prize, 2018. This lead to Six Weather Pictures, premiered by the Gelos Duo at The Yard, Edinburgh, in a concert for children with Additional Support Needs. Six Weather Pictures has had movements played on Clyde Built Radio, featured on the Scottish Saxophone Academy website, requested for Trans Radio UK, and the Hutchens/Myers Duo have commissioned a bespoke version for marimba and saxophone. He was also awarded the Walter and Dinah Wolfe Memorial Award, 2019, adjudicated by Philip Venables in collaboration with the RCS, with his chosen string quartet Don’t call me that! premiered by the Brodick Quartet in PLUG Festival, 2019.
As a vocalist, Rylan performs live with theatrical black metal band Ashenspire, and as a live and recording artist for contemporary vocal works. He also sings as a baritone with Wellington Church Choir, in the West End of Glasgow, and sung previously with the Hallé Youth Choir. After recording vocals for Adam with National Theatre of Scotland, Rylan was interviewed alongside Harrison Knights by the BBC about LGBTQIA+, especially trans, representation in music. Recent collaborations with Rylan as a performer have been with Rufus Isabel Elliot, Finn Patrick McLean, Amaya López-c (Maud the Moth), S. McLean, and Amit Anand. As a vocal tutor, he holds an ABRSM Teaching Diploma, and has worked on projects with MusicALL, COMA Glasgow, and OVER / AT, in addition to taking private students.
Rylan is currently studying a Master of Music degree with Dr. Linda Buckley at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by The Kenneth Barrett Scholarship from the RCS Trust, and The Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust, with additional funding from The John Mathers Trust. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours, graduating in 2019 after studying with David Fennessy. Previously, he attended Chetham's School of Music, studying as a vocalist and pianist, with preliminary training with Prof. Heather Slade-Lipkin. He is working on more pieces for Red Note and soundfestival 2021, PLUG Festival 2021, and with Psappha Ensemble, Jennifer Langridge and Benjamin Powell on their Composing for… scheme.