Dylan Ryche

Ontario, Canada



Behind the Music

One of my favorite things about writing music is the limitlessness of a blank page. There’s a sense of mystery and excitement as a writer about not knowing what’s going to happen next. I approached each piece of music I composed for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project as if I was scoring a movie. I focused on capturing and expressing the specific emotions of every scene, while at the same time creating works that would be engaging for a listener. Every day I would sit down, say to myself, “Today, my job is to write a song around this scene or idea.” Then I went to work. It’s always exciting to start that journey knowing, in an hour or two, my mind will be somewhere else that I can’t foresee.

I’d honestly never given much thought to life on the oceans before working on this project, so it was sobering to learn of the injustices happening at sea. It’s always seemed intuitive to me that music is a universal language that appears in every human culture. I’ve received emails from people all over the world throughout my career who have found something they connect with in my music. In many cases, I’ve had to use Google Translate to aid in my correspondence. We may not speak the same language, but we can all communicate through music. It’s impactful, and will help others understand the importance of the riveting stories in The Outlaw Ocean.

Dylan Ryche
About Dylan Ryche

Dylan Ryche originally hails from Melbourne, Australia, where - as a young boy in the late ‘80s — he was captivated by the big hooks, big choruses, big melodies and big hair of ‘80s rock n’ roll. 

He promptly took some guitar lessons and sat down in his bedroom and set about learning as many Motley Crue and Bad English riffs as possible, with a dream of one day becoming a long-haired, tattooed, glam rock superstar.

Eventually, an increasing interest in country music and the solo guitar playing of Yes guitarist Steve Howe led him to pick up a Tommy Emmanuel book and study the acoustic guitar more seriously. Hearing Don Ross’ “Klimbim” solidified a thought that solo acoustic guitar could be a complete musical voice. 

After relocating to Canada in 2008, Dylan Ryche recorded two original solo guitar albums — “Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar” in 2011 and 2017’s “Daydreamer.” These albums showcase his dedication to crafting memorable melodies and songs. Both records have received very positive reviews. Fingerstyleguitarists.com notably said of Ryche: “This man is a compositional genius.”

Dylan is the 2012 champion of the Canadian Fingerstyle Competition held annually at the Canadian Guitar Festival. 

He has taught guitar lessons via Skype to students all over the world, is a regular columnist for guitar magazines Fingerstyle 360 and Fingerstyle Journal and has shared the stage with such virtuosic musicians as Ewan Dobson, Maneli Jamal and Calum Graham.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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