Playing Piano with The Saguaro
Ryan Douglas Michelsen is a music producer and graphic artist living in the sunny state of Phoenix, Arizona. As a pianist who learned Cubase, he specializes in cinematic instrumentals and melodic constructions, blending his sound into nearly any genre. His passion for computers led him to learn Adobe, which helped unify the core potential of his creativity by melding audio with visuals.
Originally and native to Illinois, he performed in the metal group 29 Needles to open for major hits such as Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, Dead Horse Trauma, and more. After writing a metal ep and two albums of his own, he moved to Phoenix, studied music business, and founded his own company called Pombrah Music Publishing. Intent on learning the industry, he plans to release hundreds of songs over the next few years, constantly seeking artists to collaborate. Writing in areas like hip hop, rock, electronica, new age, and soundtrack, he hopes to meld these between each other to create an electronica orchestra of massive proportions.
His first commercial album, a new age set list titled “Pursuit of Happiness” was released in May of 2019. Featuring harmonious piano, diverse guitars, and bouncing electronica, he captures moments of emotion in his life without words. By December he had decided it was time to open the floodgates, and began releasing a project every two weeks. Starting with a series of contemporary orchestral works, each has been based on a unique theme ranging from "Triumph" to "Betrayal."
Across the Sea and Into the Depths
Granted the privilege of traveling the world, Ryan has stepped foot in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. A graphic designer by trade, he is a technology artist who learned design programs like CAD, Cubase, and Adobe to reach the limits of creativity.
He was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to Michelle and Ian Michelsen in 1993. His parents divorced when he was aged two, and he was raised by his mother and great grandmother Mary. He spent his early childhood constantly on the move, living in New York, Maryland, and Nebraska, before finally returning to Illinois by the age of 8. From a middle-class household, he made friends from all walks of life, although too often found his shyness limit his circle to no more than a handful. By the age of six, his father had completely disappeared from his life, no longer partaking in yearly visits or phone calls. On his 8th birthday, his grandmother gifted him a Casio musical keyboard, which he practiced for nearly every day of his childhood. When he was 12, his dad reappeared via a phone call from South Africa, his father’s birth country, and offered to fly him out to see him. Ryan quickly jumped at the opportunity and spent the next year of his life overseas, getting to know the father he never really knew. His father ran his own construction company in South Africa and wanted Ryan to take up in his footsteps by moving in with him, but Ryan missed his mom and his friends back home, so he chose to return to the United States. Upon returning to his homeland, Ryan was gifted with a love of architecture that became a passion, with a dream to be an architect for his dad one day. In High School, he enrolled in drafting and architecture courses, reaching honors college level coursework by his junior year. At the age of 15 however, his father passed away, devastating him.
“The morning I found out… it was as if a weight had fallen upon me greater than any I have ever felt before.” He received therapy wherever he could find it and changed significantly as a person from then on. His social circles transformed, and it was at this point he believes he became truly artistic. “I always wanted to be as successful as I could be, but once I lost my Dad, I felt as though living life was more important than success. Success became a metaphor for love, for pain, and for perseverance. I could express those feelings and that journey I was going through on the keys of my piano.” He graduated high school in 2011 with an impressive ACT score and the coursework to prove his dedication to architecture. He received a full ride scholarship for Architectural Technology at Robert Morris University, and started a job as a graphic designer. The path he had designed for himself was to alter though, when he dropped out of university to pursue his love of music. He joined the metal band 29 Needles and began touring with them for their album release, helped write their EP, and learned to use audio hardware and software to take his sounds further than he ever could on a keyboard alone. In 2015 he moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he studied music business and theory before starting his own company called Pombrah Music Publishing LLC.
THE MAGIC OF MUSICIANSHIP
A Magical Requiem
For most of my childhood I did not know what kind of man my father was. I always wondered why he couldn't be around, why I only saw him once a year. One year came along that I did not hear from him at all. It seemed like it was going to stay that way forever as further years passed.
I was at a friend's house one day and was about to go bowling when I got a phone call. I hung up at first because I couldn't understand the person on the other line, but as soon as I had decided to think nothing of it I would receive a second call.
"Ryan?" "Yes," I replied. "This is your daddy, boy," said my father.
We talked for four hours and by the end of it, he had booked me tickets to see him. Little did I understand I would need to get a passport. By the next spring I, a small boy from the Midwestern US, was flying alone to South Africa to reunite with my Dad.
The memories I would make with him helped cement him as an integral part of who I am.
When I was 15, he passed away from a heart attack. It is hard to describe the weight that put on me,
11 years later I wrote Magical on the anniversary of his death. Let this requiem give magic to the life that he lived!
Music in the year of 2020, by Ryan Douglas Michelsen
Here you will find all of my commercially released music organized by overall genre. As 2020 progresses new genres will be added, so be sure to check back every few weeks. For updates on my next upcoming project, deals on my services, and behind the scenes opportunities to collaborate, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list below.