Matthew Ryals is a musician, sound designer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. Primarily working with a modular synthesizer, his music explores aleatoricism, cybernetics, and unfixed forms. Currently, his research investigates human-machine collaboration and the co-authorship of the resultant material. Tiny Mix Tapes has described his music as “filter[ing] the emotion of the human experience through the cold circuitry of electronics”.

His next full-length release, ‘Voltage Scores’, is out this fall on Oxtail Recordings. Inspired by free jazz methodology, the entire album was recorded live without overdubs during the COVID-19 pandemic and merged free improvisation, generative processes, and the multi-sectional forms of classical composition. His solo output is spread across Oxtail Recordings (Sydney, AU), Post Season Franchise Records (NYC, US), Low Hanging Fruit (Cologne, DE) and his own imprint, Behind Glass Records (NYC, US).

A frequent collaborator of choreographers, Ryals has received commissions and performed with companies such as The Movement Project, 7Midnights Physical Research, and Cleveland State University’s dance department. As the recipient of the Kulas Theatre Composer Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre for two consecutive years, he created original electronic music scores for the plays ‘Feefer Rising’ and ‘Red Ash Mosaic’ along with several miniature works. He has written for short films including his contributions to ‘The Fixers’, a collaborative art-meets-protest film series that put Cleveland’s underrepresented residents in the forefront to tell their city’s story during the 2016 RNC. The series exhibited at SPACES gallery in Cleveland and Smack Mellon in New York City.

Recent sound design projects include his work for Riot Games, Nike, and Global Health Reporting Center, an independent newsroom and nonprofit that reports on the most pressing health issues of our time. Ryals is also a dedicated educator with a holistic method that combines rigorous training with creative mentorship. He co-designed an after-school program for the Brooklyn based studio, Keylab, where he is also the lead instructor. The program, for kids 4-12 years old, is centered on nurturing self-expression through sonic exploration, songwriting, music production, band collaboration, music theory fundamentals, and beginner piano skills.

Ryals was raised in rural Arkansas and holds an MM in classical guitar from Cleveland Institute of Music and a BM in instrumental performance from Arkansas State University.