Dr. Ryan Somerville is best known for his innovative orchestral compositions for immersive visual productions. As a composer, arranger, and music producer for film, theater, dance, hip-hop and pop artists, VR environments, and digital art he has collaborated with a number of innovative musical acts and visionaries. His first major break came in 2009 when his string quintet “Sono Quel Che Sono” was premiered by the Edinburgh Quartet at London’s King Place and featured on Hear and Now BBC Radio 3. Somerville followed that success with an encore performance of “Embrace The Absurdity” by the Diotima Quartet. That same year, he produced a concert of his own work featuring his self-produced orchestra and the Edinburgh Quartet at the Reid Concert Hall. During this period, he was awarded an M.Mus. and a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Edinburgh and acted as an Associated Staff member, tutoring in counterpoint and music theory at the school from 2009-2011. His primary teachers at Edinburgh were Peter Nelson and Nigel Osborne. He also attended summer courses at the University Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria, studying with Salvatore Sciarrino and at the International Summer Academy Austria studying with Nigel Oborne and Kryzstof Penderecki.
His Ph.D. research focused on developing collaborations between artists from different practices in order to expand the musical world by redefining its creative process. Through this work he also sought to explore the experience of music in private and public spaces, and the dissemination of music. Bringing together an interdisciplinary and collaborative team of animators, composers, filmmakers, illustrators, musicians, sculptors, web designers, and writers, the research culminated in his large-scale music experiences De Novo and Sounds In The Haar: Nights In Edinburgh.
After graduating he was recognized for his artistic prowess and held an Artistic Associate position at the Banff Centre, Banff, Canada in 2014-2015, and an artist residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China in 2016.
Notable recent music credits include “She Runs” (2019) a short film by Qiu Yang which was awarded the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize at Semaine de la Critique Cannes 2019 and subsequently shown at TIFF, New York Film Festival, and BFI London Film Festival , a ballet featuring his original composition “Ritual” and his re-work of Ravel’s “Boléro” which premiered at the National Theatre Taipei in 2019, “Demon In The Mirror” (2018) a theatrical production by National Taichung Theatre’s artist-in-residence Andy Yen, and “Organs Without Body” a music video-dance performance, also created in collaboration with Andy Yen, which was featured in Creators Vice News.