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Musician spotlight: Ryan Flynn


  • Ryan Flynn.
Rochester synth-pop musician Ryan Flynn was working on his newest single ”Outside,” which led to asking himself a sensible question: Why not record it outside?

So he packed up his gear, and headed out to some national parks. Flynn plugged his synthesizer into his car’s auxiliary power and jammed with the earth and sky.
Inspired by the beautiful backdrops, Flynn came back with some soaring melodic confections that rivaled the vistas he used as a sounding board.

In addition to working on “Outside” in these parks, Flynn created impromptu music for a particularly in-the-moment and immediate feel. The majestic locations for these improv sessions included Badlands National Park in South Dakota, Bighorn and Shoshone national forests in Wyoming, Glacier National Park in Montana, and Vermillion National Monument Park in Arizona — which got an eerie snake charmer treatment, courtesy of Flynn’s theremin (pictured above).

The resulting YouTube videos — five grandiose nature vignettes in total — play like sci-fi westerns from the aliens’ point of view. Flynn has created music as grand as the landscapes themselves.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at