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Ryan Carraher (b.1993) is a composer, guitarist, and improviser based in Seattle, WA.


Carraher’s works are psychophysical unravellings characterized by catastrophic fragility, Brownian relationscapes, and stunted-spectacle. Superabundance, ambiguity, and performative impossibility lay bare one’s psychophysical limitations, and conditioned values, whilst issuing a demand for reflection and real-time mediation. Ideally, this reflection incites meaningful introspection into the origins of these limitations, previous perceptual and creative dimensions left unexplored due to them, and galvanizes personal work towards deeper, more fully-aware, performance and creative practices.


He has received commissions from ensembles/performers such as: loadbang, Darmstadt, ECCE, Ensemble x.y, Transient Canvas, Erin Rogers, Mariel Roberts, Giorgos Panagiotidis, Iwona Glinka, Orlando Cela, Popebama, Periodot Duo, Ligament Duo, Philipp Staudlin, Anna Griffis, as well as a workshop featuring members of Ensemble Intercontemporain (ManiFeste 2018).


Carraher has been named the Eastern division winner and national finalist of the MTNA composition competition, selected as a national finalist in the Flute New Music Consortium composition competition, and selected as a national finalist for the American Prize. Additionally he is the recipient of a Tribeca new music merit award and the Berklee guitar department achievement award.


Carraher is also an accomplished guitarist mainly focusing on free/experimental jazz endeavors. He has released numerous albums to critical acclaim with his 2016 release Vocturnal being named to the All About Jazz “Best of 2016 list”. Ryan is proud to use and endorse PRS Guitars.


Currently, Carraher is pursuing his DMA in composition at the University of Washington where he is studying with Yiğit Kolat, Joël-François Durand, and Huck Hodge. Prior to that, he earned his MA at Tufts University studying under John McDonald, and his Bachelors in Guitar Performance from Berklee College of Music studying under Alla Cohen, David Tronzo, and Tim Miller. Additional composition instructors include Stratis Minakakis, Stefano Gervasoni, and Erin Gee.

"Definitely someone to watch, Carraher has made a real statement with 'Vocturnal'; there is surely much more music to come from this highly talented player and composer."
                          -Budd Kopman All About Jazz.com

"Ryan is a modern guitar virtuoso.  Having been a former student of mine, I noticed even at his first lesson that he has "the gift" and he would be a great player if not one of "the greats".  Having an outstanding work ethic, a humble attitude, combined with his musical and physical abilities the sky is the limit for him." 

                                                                         -Derryl Gabel

"An artist who is constantly adventuring into music’s wildest spaces, Ryan has managed to craft a unique improvisational and compositional sound, and now, he’s unleashed this sound onto the world in his debut album, ‘Vocturnal’."

                                                                           - Anthem Reviews

"Your content online is beyond helpful! They are gold mate! I have stopped playing the guitar but when I heard you, I was inspired to pick it up again! Your sound is fresh and I love it!"

                                                                                  - JC (Student)

"Dude! You're killin! Definitely motivating me to keep learning new concepts. Keep up the great work!"

                                        - Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders)

“Fantastic compositions and brilliant playing! Bravo!”

                                                                                 - David Tronzo

"I really like your album, some real thought has gone into the compositions, your playing is also really cool with a delicate and sophisticated approach. It's refreshing to hear somebody display maturity and sensitivity in their music and you have definitely done that with your album, excellent."

                                                                           - Chanan Hanspal

"Ryan is a fantastic teacher who always took the time to answer my incessant questions concisely and truly personalize my lessons. My knowledge and skills of guitar technique and improvisation improved dramatically in the short time I took lessons with him. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to expand their knowledge and skill of the instrument. It's especially nice that his playing is brilliant! That way, inspiration was always in reach."

                                                                           - Dom P. (Student)

 © 2020 by Ryan Carraher

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Composer :: Guitarist :: Improviser