A new sound: Sound Psychologist to perform tonight at LACA

April 11, 2019

Ludington High School senior Thomas Ryan has taken a lifelong love of electronic and experimental music and used it to form something new — not just a sound, but an identity.

As Sound Psychologist, his adopted stage name, Ryan writes, composes, records and performs original electronic compositions using computers, software programs and various synthesizers to create a sound that’s unique in the local music scene.

He’s built a loyal following in the Ludington area, and he’s hoping to bring that fanbase to the Ludington Area Center for the Arts on Thursday for his performance in the arts center’s “Intimate Evening With…” series from 7 to 9 p.m. in LACA’s main gallery at 107 S. Harrison St.

Ryan said he was first exposed to electronic music — specifically the iconic sounds of Detroit techno — from his father, Dr. James Ryan.

“My dad was into the Detroit music scene, so I grew up listening to all the experimental music,” he said. “I started playing classical piano … it’s been 15 or 16 years now, so that was a big part of who I am.”

The music he’s made as Sound Psychologist spans the genres of electronic, house music, experimental and ambient, among other styles. He’s integrated his classical piano training into his original compositions, many of which feature striking keyboard harmonies that bubble to the surface, surrounded by glitches and stuttering beats.

The music is made with synthesizers and software programs, Thomas said.

Ryan said he’s excited about performing in a small, intimate setting.

“The smaller space, I think will be really cool. Most electronic music shows and stuff have a definitive feeling of separation (between) the artist and the crowd, and that’s fine, but since I’ll have closer space, and the chance to talk, I can make it into a talk just as much as a performance,” he said. “It’ll probably be some pre-made stuff that I do live, but before I do it I’ll give some insight onto how I made the sounds in it.

“I’ll probably do more of an ambient or experimental set.”

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased by calling LACA at (231) 845-2787. Tickets will also be available at the door.

See The Scene in Thursday’s Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition for the full story.