Ryan Carter composes music for instruments, voices, and computers. Praised by the New York Times as “imaginative…like, say, a Martian dance party,” Ryan’s music has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the National Flute Association, the MATA Festival, the Metropolis Ensemble, Present Music, The Milwaukee Children’s Choir, and the Calder Quartet, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the American Composers Forum, and Meet the Composer. Ryan has collaborated with the Berkeley Symphony, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Nieuw Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, the Mivos Quartet, Quartetto Maurice, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Transit, NOW Ensemble, and many others. Awards include the Lee Ettelson Award, the Aaron Copland Award, the Left Coast Composition Contest, the National Association of Composers/USA Composer’s Competition, and the Publikumspreis at the Heidelberg Spring Festival. Ryan was also a finalist for the 2005 Gaudeamus Prize and was chosen as one of NPR and Q2’s favorite “100 Composers Under 40.”
In addition to composing acoustic music, Ryan is an avid computer musician, programmer, and performer. His iMonkeypants app (available for download on the App Store) is an album of algorithmically generated, listener-interactive electronica. As an extension of iMonkeypants, Ryan founded Headless Monkey Attack, a collaborative project blending live instrumental performance with electronic dance music synthesized in real time from code in the RTcmix programming language, which he has presented at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley. Ryan also serves on the Board of Directors of SEAMUS (the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States).
Raised in Wisconsin, Ryan holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BMus), Stony Brook University (MA), and New York University (PhD), where his teachers included Richard Hoffmann, Pauline Oliveros, Daniel Weymouth, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Matthias Pintscher. Ryan has pursued additional studies with Louis Andriessen and Gilius van Bergeijk at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (the Netherlands) and with Brad Garton at the Computer Music Center at Columbia University. Ryan is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Hamilton College.