Rylan Gleave (b.1997) is a Leith-based composer and vocalist whose musical practice involves mending the unfeigned gaps in his classical study with the healings of imaginative neuro-/gender-divergent kinship. Re-emerging as a composer/performer, his recent work has explored the instrumental qualities of his late-breaking trans-masc voice through queer autoethnography, and autistic-specific notation. His compositions have been praised as ‘haunting’ by The Herald, and ‘rapturous’ by The Scotsman, who named him ‘One to Watch’ 2021, describing him as ‘one of the brightest lights in Scotland’s new music scene’.
Affiliations include Paraorchestra, JACK Studio, Ashenspire, and The Musician’s Company, where he was awarded the Silver Medal 2020. Currently, Rylan is developing his practice on the Royal Philharmonic Society's Composers Programme, National Theatre of Scotland’s Neurostages, and remote_CTRL residency. His recent projects have included new notes; better days, working with Cox's Bazar Rohingya Refugee Musicians in Bangladesh, after receiving a British Council Unlimited Micro Award: and KITH, nominated for Forecast Edition 6, Berlin, where he received mentoring from composer/performer Sofia Jernberg. He was awarded the Cromarty Arts Trust Student Residency Prize 2021, with Rory Green, to spend a month in Cromarty extending his vocal technique and teaching practice.
Other international collaborations have been with Crossing Borders Music, Momenta Dance Company, newEar Chamber Ensemble, The Diversity Initiative, and No Divide KC. Locally, Rylan has been commissioned by Shadwell Opera, CRIPtic Festival, the West End Festival, soundfestival, DaDaFest, Red Note Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, and Nevis Ensemble, and has worked with Live Music Now, Drake Music Scotland, Glasgow New Music Expedition, National Youth Dance Company of Scotland, The Night With… (call for scores winner alongside Darlene Zaraboso), Psappha Ensemble (Composing for…scheme), and The Cumnock Tryst. He was shortlisted to represent Scotland at ISCM Word Music Days 2021 – Shanghai and Nanning, with string quartet in waves selected for jury consideration, and his work Walrus (text by Elizabeth Foster) was selected for publication NewMusic Shelf’s Anthology of New Music for Trans and Nonbinary voices, Vol. 1.
As a live and recording artist for contemporary vocal works, Rylan also holds an ABRSM Teaching Diploma, and is in-demand as a vocal tutor with experience of navigating a late-breaking voice. He aims to facilitate other trans/neurodivergent singers to reclaim their voices through creative noise-making, and has a wonderful cohort of current and prospective students worldwide. His previous and upcoming workshops with Forecast, The Musician’s Company, Trans Fest, OVER / AT, and in various school settings are focused on accessibility, gender-affirming voicework and individual expression. Rylan recorded vocals for National Theatre of Scotland’s Adam, as lead artist alongside Harrison Knights, which was made into an award-winning film for BBC Scotland and BBC Arts.
He holds a Master of Music degree with tuition from Linda Buckley from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2021, where he graduated with The Craig Armstrong Prize, and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition Prize, and was supported by The Kenneth Barrett Scholarship from the RCS Trust, a Dewar Arts Award, The Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust, and The John Mathers Trust. He completed his Bachelor of Music Degree with David Fennessy, graduating with First Class Honours, The Dinah and Walter Wolfe Memorial Award, and The Kimie Composition Prize in 2019, following his training as a mezzo-soprano at Chetham’s School of Music.