DALI ART 國際藝術村 第一期藝術家 — Ryan Somerville
Itinerant American-born composer Dr. Ryan Somerville creates music compositions that engage with visual elements to redefine the experience of music; collaborating with animators, photographers, street artists, and fashion designers to create new works that broaden the ways in which we experience music.
His compositions are often reactionary to local communities and cultures and this has led him to create pieces in collaboration with artists in Scotland, Australia, Canada, China, and now Taiwan.
Dr. Somerville’s music has been performed in such diverse venues as King’s Place London, Sala Accademica di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Music Gallery in Toronto, and the Revolver Club Taipei, Swatch Art Peace Hotel Shanghai, Banff Centre Canada
其中包括：倫敦的國王廣場、羅馬的Sala Cecilia di Santa Cecilia、多倫多音樂廳、台北左輪手槍俱樂部、上海斯沃琪藝術和平飯店和加拿大班夫中心。
During my time as an artist-in-residence at DaliArt, I developed a new ballet performance for symphony orchestra. This ballet, as yet untitled, is a magical realist exploration of two children entering a fantasy world. This piece has been of significant importance to me because it allowed me to explore my past classical influences. In recent years my artistic style has deviated from my training and so with this composition I went back to my formative years as a composer and explored compositions that had always been familiar to me but not particularly interested in. A particular piece of inspiration was Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. In the beginning, I used my time to explore the tonality and harmonic movement that Tchaikovsky employs. His processes inspired me to think of my own music differently and I became more concerned with melody and accessible musical color.
Furthermore, I began to look differently at the music narrative. Utilizing melody to tell a story is a different process for me. In the past, I was more concerned with using sound texture to evoke emotion and direct the narrative. With this ballet, I began to use melody and chord progressions to direct the emotion; relying more on tonal color to tell the story rather than sound. To clarify, I used songs rather than sound itself to tell the story. This was an exciting endeavor as I began to think about the timelessness of song and concern myself with its pleasing aspects. It was a similar feeling to using muscles that hadn’t been used in a very long time, painful at first but became much stronger and enjoyable.
This endeavor was realized in the attached pieces, which are lent to DaliArt.
I found the residency itself to be vibrant and invigorating. The artists involved were diligent and inspiring, the hard working atmosphere instilled focus and determination on my work ethic. I believe that this shared, communal work environment also allowed for greater productivity. The other artistic styles influenced my work by inspiring me to create a composition that would reflect, and also be suitable for, the artistic environment found in the studio at DaliArt. This led me to broaden my tonal palette and expand my musical thought, and also allowing me to return to my classical upbringing. I look forward to further developing my composition and I’m greatly excited by the refreshing of my musical style.