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Symphony Instrument?

"That's amazing! Do you play in a symphony?" This is the response I hear most often when people ask what I do for a living. While my roots are in classical music and you can hear that influence, my curiosity about sound led me to learn a variety of non-orchestral instruments, and ultimately, to creating these modern arrangements of famous songs. (I also enjoy mixing classical music into my performances, or the occasional request to perform only classical music.)

 

I approach the cello like singing. As for my backing tracks, they are born from passion and determination. Each accompaniment fits my cello playing and the way I feel the song. I include nuances and details to make this music expressive and natural-sounding, like fully live music. Creating the arrangements is sometimes labor intensive, and always rewarding.  When I see a new song connect with an audience or get selected for a couple's wedding playlist - it's the best feeling!

People have spoken, and my music inspires calmness, but also excitement. "It was soothing and beautiful," people often say after performances, also clearly energized and excited about the experience. I love my niche in the music world, and seeing cello music be well-received by all types of people is special. 

ryan-smith-cello-music-at-12-years-old-holding-his-cello
ryan-smith-cello-music-at-41-years-old-playing-his-cello

As you can see, little Ryan started early with his love for music!

My first instrument was the cello, starting in 7th grade orchestra, and it's remained my favorite. Using a bow, and all the sounds this instrument can make, is just that special!

I was classically trained on cello from day one, and followed this path to a 4-year college degree in music. (Go Lobos!) Before I was 5' tall, I was also playing electric bass in garage bands, jazz bands, and pep bands. I didn't stop with two instruments, and now play six, and plan to learn another next year (a west African instrument called an ngoni). I deeply believe it's personally rewarding to learn and grow in music, for anyone. This creative expansion has been a huge part of my life and turned out to pave the way for what I do here at Ryan Smith Cello Music.

 

Throughout my repertoire, you'll hear a wide variety of instruments. If you listen closely, you might notice some of my main influences have been Jimi Hendrix, Yo Yo Ma, Foo Fighters, Allman Brothers, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires. In the end, I enjoy all genres of music, as long as it's coming from the heart. You can see in my song list that I'm eager to explore all music.

I feel so lucky to have discovered music, both for all it's given me as a person, from hope to discipline, and also for the fulfillment of really making a difference in peoples' lives, whether that's at a hospital or a wedding. 

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