Nava Ryan

Nava Ryan - Artist Photo

Nava Ryan

Emerging Composer / U25 Award 2018 Australian Music Composition Competition

Cash Prize of $500 – Sponsored by Rick Falkiner’s Guitar Centre

Visit Nava’s YouTube page here

Nava is an 18-year-old multi-instrumentalist, composer and music technologist who is currently studying at the Queensland Conservatorium. He was first introduced to the world of music in 2010; piano lessons were his birthday present that he really loved. In only a short few years, his natural affinity for the instrument has led him to create a respected name for himself amid the Queensland piano scene. Receiving his Licentiate of Music diploma with a high distinction, Nava’s performance highlights including a string of annual appearances at the Yamaha Keyboard Festival and performances as soloist at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre alongside Queensland Ballet.

Given his early exposure to music technology, and specifically, the performance and programming capabilities of MIDI, Nava’s personal projects include arranging expansive medleys from the soundtracks of his favourite movies. In 2017, Nava won the international remix competition hosted by electronic music icon Moby, for his song ‘Are You Lost In The World Like Me?’. The remix was released on 12” vinyl via New-York-based label Little Idiot, alongside remixes by Blanck Mass and Moby himself. Nava also enjoys writing for film, with scores for several animations as part of the Queensland Music Festival, as well as his music being featured in the upcoming short documentary entitled ‘8-Bit Domination’, which is centred around the Australian chiptune & 8-bit music scene.

Nava has recently also been named the winner of the international competition to write a work to accompany ‘Nathan’s Despair’, a striking scene from Roland Colton’s historical novel, ‘Forever Gentleman’. The piece will be featured in the upcoming e-book edition of the novel, as well as future film / TV adaptions. Besides his passions in music, Nava enjoys playing chess and is a fan of the fantasy genre of films. In the future Nava hopes to become a full-time film and game composer, incorporating his classical roots with electronic music influences.


Solitude draws inspiration upon Sue Needham’s blends of darker, subdued watercolours and captures an existential sense of loneliness portrayed within her Stormy Seashore trilogy. The expressive subtlety of the watercolour strokes brings out emotions that lie deeper and that are hard to express through words alone.

What I found to be most intriguing about the paintings is the connection made between its audience and the endless beauty of nature itself. There is not a sign of human life and so it conveys a yearning to reconnect, and serves as a background for inner reflection. This was something I tried to portray in the music, focusing on creating an overall mood through certain harmonies and textures. Beginning in the love-sick key of C minor, the piece modulates at various points to mark each of its pivotal sections and serves to augment the emotional response as the piece progresses.

The overarching structure of the work can be clearly defined by three distinct parts which evolve and develop with time. Solitude explores a breadth of emotion as contained in Needham’s expressive artworks: desolation, melancholy and ultimately, hope.

Hear these award winning works and more in concert in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne when Matt Withers and Acacia Quartet tour with their Imaginations program in August & September. Full details and tickets here

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