“Music can convey something that the spoken word has a harder time scratching the surface of. A certain sound or combination of notes can impact your life in seconds.”
Spiritual seeker and humanitarian, Ryan Herrick has sojourned guitar-in-hand from the mountains of Vermont to the foothills of Chicago’s skyscrapers and beyond. The guitar-- his accomplice-- served as the brush with which to paint his experiences as an inner journeyman; a wayward son who left home in search of himself.
His deep awareness of past life memories and ancient ways stoke the creative fires of his soul, inspiring him to express art through sound. Intricately weaving his passion for mysticism with musical improvisation, there is a deep meditative quality in his songwriting and compositions.
Fresh off the road from a national tour in support of Crobot in early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic had hit full force-- halting continued touring as lead guitarist in Chicago roots-rock outfit, The JAB. Ryan looked to sonic experimentation and improvisation as a way to maintain his center and break new ground as a composer and multi-instrumentalist. Up until that point, Ryan had largely been focusing his music within the realm of the Folk Rock-Americana singer-songwriter on releases such as One (2016), Sagitta (2017), and Heal Your Bones (2019).
“I’ve always considered myself a guitarist first and foremost. Growing up, I’d be pouring over tunes like Zeppelin’s Rain Song and Jimmy Page’s ‘White Summer,’ the psycho-folk-metal orchestrations of Soundgarden’s b-sides, and Gilmour-esque experimentations. The late nights alone with a guitar, candle-lit, incense burning. This introspective place on the guitar was always kind of reserved for myself... it is the sea from which all my lyrics, melodies, and songs come from.”
As a response to the shut down, Ryan began performing live improvised instrumentals on social media in the mornings, dubbed “Morning Mantras,” in an attempt to foster connection, provide space for refuge and personal enrichment through in the music during the challenging, isolative times of the pandemic.
“I felt a strong desire to bring this personal healing and creative space of mine to the online community. I thought that perhaps others would find some respite in music without words too, whether it was during their own yoga/meditation practice, morning routines or just drinking coffee.”
In July 2020, Ryan teamed up with producer Duane Lundy from Lexington Recording Company to capture this new step in Ryan’s journey. Tapping into the improvised, in-the-moment, cinematic spirit of the ‘mantra’ sketches and Lundy’s taste for ambient and experimental soundscapes, the songs effortlessly emerged from the ethers of Ryan and Duane’s shared influences and co-creative workflow. The music created during these sessions will be released in the coming months as three concept EPs: Of Land, Of Sea, and Of Sky.