RY X: “Art is something that links you to time and place almost more than anything else”

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RY X: “Art is something that links you to time and place almost more than anything else”

Credit: Clifford Usher
Words by Benjamin Lamb

Aussie-born US-based RY X (Ry Cumming) isn’t your everyday musician. His ethereal, emotional, and at times euphoric music has connected with fans of all types across the globe, and has seen him play with groups like the Brussels Philharmonic Soloists and the London Contemporary Orchestra. 

His new record Blood Moon follows 2019’s Unfurl, which reached the number 11 position on the Belgium charts. Blood Moon dropped back in June 2022, and continues to connect with new fans every day. Ry noting that it’s a liberating experience, we caught up with him to chat about it all.

“Feeling people connect with it (Blood Moon) and resonate with it is everything,” Ry says. “It’s humbling, because everyone can see what you’ve been working on, you’re not carting that around in the shadows anymore.

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“That’s why I create work, that’s half of the story, one half is my need to create, and the other half is wanting it to resonate with people. You want people to relate and understand you through your art, and I think so far through my career, I’ve been able to create understanding.”

Blood Moon was built during the pandemic, Ry was tucked away in his Santa Monica mountains home studio, where he wore the producer, engineer and musician hats simultaneously, which mightn’t have been the case in any normal year. 

“My work is not too cerebral. It’s kind of intuitive. I like to think of it as a heart-centric way of creating. So obviously, being a producer, an engineer and a musician, you’re playing and you’re creating, you’re having to think a lot not just in terms of the sound, but the way that something feels wherever you’re at as a person. 

And so at least in my work, so having this time, that having the time during lockdown, to be very introverted, quiet, and in self-study was actually quite helpful, and important”

Ry isn’t a stranger to wearing many hats in the song creating process, but it was a journey experiencing it all alone for the first time, Ry notes.

“I’ve always been producer, or co-producer, but it’s different when you’re engineering it, as well, and it’s different when there’s no feedback. I think what was beautiful Is it allowed me to explore a whole wide range of production and engineering ideas, and not have any limitation on time and space.


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Ry takes the approach to music seriously, working alone may seem like all rules and deadlines get thrown out the window; but not for those who are committed to the world of music making.

“I think good artists have discipline, even if they act in a different way on the outside. So there’s a discipline that comes with art, and there’s a quote that has always resonated strongly for me it was ‘with complete discipline comes complete freedom’.

“The hardest thing for me is pulling back when I’m 30 songs in, or 40 songs in, I’m like oh shit, I need to pull back at some point. I think the hard thing was stopping creating, because it’s just once you hit that stage in the game, you’re just in a constant state of creation, you could write 100 songs.”

Creating something during a period of your life, and then having to replay that in the live form could be a tough feat, musicians having to replay at times a personal emotion in shows across the world. Ry noting his journey of creating music and playing it in all corners of the world.

“I mean, we’re always dying, and being reborn right now, we’re shifting constantly. I think coming to some terms and acceptance of that constant state of impermanence, and that journey is really important. I would say that art is something that always really links you to time and place almost more than anything else, especially through emotions.”

“So there’s no challenge for me playing the songs and reconnecting to the essence because as soon as I start performing them, the essence is right there in me.”

The visual elements of Ry’s work are a great accompaniment to experiencing his music, his recent music videos for Blood Moon tracks matching the heartfelt lyricism and deep instrumentation of the album. 

“I think there’s a precondition that we need to have a quote unquote, ‘music video’,” Ry notes. “But I think if you’re going to have a visual, make it as powerful as the world as the music, and vice versa. 

 “I love directing videos and editing. And that’s a part of my creative process. That deepens it for me, and I think that therefore deepens it for other people. But having a visual for the sake of the visual, I don’t think is appropriate. If it’s going to deepen your understanding and deepening the meaning for other people, then definitely step into that.”

Next year, Ry is playing some more shows with an orchestra, this time the iconic London Philharmonic Orchestra, giving a new emotion and feeling to his many popular tracks.

“It’s mind blowing. Orchestral work and neoclassical work specifically for me is something I love. They’re playing your music, they’re playing things at you, and they’re contributing to the gravity of your music. 

When I’m standing in the middle of that and I’m hearing and feeling them play, it’s overwhelming at times, there’s been times on stage where I’ve knelt down and just tried to hold back tears and hold back emotion because it floods through you in such a deep way.”

Ry also has hope that he can create the same feeling down under at some point: “I’d love to do something like that in Australia, to bring something a bit more orchestral, that would be my dream.”

Blood Moon is out now, check out more info here.