Awardee News: Rylan Gleave

In Chemical Transit, the debut album from All Men Unto Me, explores Rylan Gleave’s vocal journey from Mezzo-Soprano to Bass-Baritone.

The debut album from All Men Unto Me, a project led by 2021 Dewar Awardee Rylan Gleave, has been released to critical acclaim.

In Chemical Transit explores Rylan’s vocal journey from Mezzo-Soprano to Bass-Baritone and serves as a window intothree moments in his transition: pre-transition, 8 weeks on Testosterone, and 2.5 years on Testosterone. Using historic recordings of Rylan’s voice, In Chemical Transit is a time capsule of voices that will never sound again. The album is underpinned by Cherubino’s aria Voi che sapete from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. The aria’s themes permeate the entirety of the record, with a repeated appeal to know “s’io l’ho nel cor”—“if it is in my heart”—returning multiple times in both Italian and English.

Gleave’s exploration of the operatic material is influenced not only by his classical training, but also his avant-garde metal vocals for band Ashenspire. There are also additional themes drawn from minimalism, church music, post-punk, and drone. His broken voice alternates between strangled falsetto, guttural shrieks, and full-bodied classical baritone, and has been likened to ‘Tilt-era Scott Walker’ by C.M. Queen.

The critical response to the release has been positive, with Echoes and Dust calling the album “a provocative sound capsule for the more open minded music lover” and Noob Heavy calling In Chemical Transit “an utterly singular work, the sort of daring project that sits at the forefront of art in both the musical and sociological sense”.

Rylan’s 2021 Dewar Award supported him through an MMus Degree with Dr. Linda Buckley at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he won the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition prize.

A digital edition of the album can be downloaded from Bandcamp. Congratulations Rylan – we can’t wait to see what you do next!