Ryan Carraher (b.1993) is a composer, guitarist, and improviser based in Seattle, WA. His compositional work is concerned with articulating the vulnerability of the human body, the role failure plays in identity expression, superabundance, and a composer-performer-audience relationship defined by kinesthetic empathy. His works often experiment with notation. In order to create distance from habit and expose psychophysical limitations, performers are presented with graphics, games, animations, tasks, and/or recordings. Ideally, one can then reflect upon these normally subconscious limitations, inquire into their origins, revisit perceptual/creative/experiential dimensions left unexplored due to them, and galvanize personal work towards deeper, more fully aware, performance and creative practices.
His works have been featured at leading festivals including June in Buffalo, Either/Or’s Spring Festival, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, New Music on the Bayou, Oh My Ears, New Music on the Point, Charlotte New Music Festival, VIPA, and Etchings. Carraher’s music has been performed by Loadbang, Ensemble Dal Niente, Popebama, Line Upon Line, Vasko Dukovski, Mariel Roberts, ECCE, Ensemble x.y, Transient Canvas, Orlando Cela, Iwona Glinka, Peridot Duo, Rose Hegele, Megan Inhen, Philipp Stäudlin, and others across Europe and the USA.
Carraher has been named the Eastern division winner and national finalist of the MTNA composition competition, selected as a national finalist for the American Prize, and selected as a national finalist in the Flute New Music Consortium composition competition. Additionally, he is the recipient of a Tribeca New Music merit award and the Berklee College of Music guitar department achievement award.
In addition to composition, Carraher is an accomplished guitarist specializing in free jazz and experimental improvisation. As bandleader, he has released numerous albums to critical acclaim with his 2016 debut release Vocturnal named to the All About Jazz “Best of 2016” list. As a sideman, he has contributed to numerous recording projects.
Currently, Carraher is pursuing his DMA in composition at the University of Washington studying with Huck Hodge, Joël-François Durand, and Yigit Kolat. He earned his MA at Tufts University studying under John McDonald and his Bachelors in Guitar Performance at Berklee College of Music studying under Alla Cohen, David Tronzo, and Tim Miller. Additional composition instructors include Stratis Minakakis, Stefano Gervasoni, and Erin Gee.