Ronan Skillen

About me

Cape Town, South Africa

Ronan Skillen is an award winning musician, producer and teacher from Cape Town, SA. His flair for improvisation began with the didgeridoo, and his later schooling in Indian classical music and wide palette of textural percussive sounds, combine to create a rich soundscape, incorporating tabla and hybrid percussion kit invention. Ronan is particularly inspired by the aesthetic of record label ECM, and music from Mali to Memphis and Mumbai. He has toured the world, recorded on over 50 albums and has shared the stage with Rodriguez, Johnny Clegg, Manu Dibango, Yo Yo Ma among others.

Cultural background

  • Ireland

Values

  • Balance
  • Creativity
  • Honesty
  • Listening
  • Optimism
  • Teamwork

Project Music

Ascensions

Shunzo Ohno, references Japanese + African folk melodies as Ancestral wisdom guides humanity's rise towards our greater good. Collaborators, Ronan Skillen, Shaun Johannes, and Syssi Mananga contribute the intersections of calm and explosive resolve. Ascensions describes the currents of past and future within our shared present, while embattled in a pandemic. The continuous evolution intertwines both tenderness and bold courage. Conflict is expressed in the harmonic structures, transversing melodies, concluding w the unity of one note.

  • African
  • Fusion
  • Improvisational
  • Instrumental
  • Jazz
  • Traditional / Folk
  • World
  • Singer
  • Bass guitar
  • Darabukka
  • Djembe
  • Rainstick
  • Talking drum
  • Natural trumpet
  • Trumpet
  • Congo
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Japan
  • South Africa
Red Flags

Red Flags is about two lovers that are constantly clashing because of mutual mistrust; constantly pointing out the red flags from the other, and making allegations without substantial proof. Written by Odwa in Khosa and Anna Christensen in English; the song transports you from South Africa (Singing) to Uganda (Xylophone and Bakisimba [cultural rhythm]) to Denmark (singing) to India (percussion) and back to South Africa. A seamless fusion of jazz, African and Indian folk music, and electronic soundscapes.

  • African
  • Electronic
  • Fusion
  • Jazz
  • Musical theatre
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Singer
  • Vocal percussion
  • Grand piano
  • Synthesizer
  • Electric guitar
  • Octapad
  • Percussion
  • Rainstick
  • Rattle
  • Udu
  • Xylophone
  • Trumpet
  • Denmark
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
De lo que estamos hechos

Our origin Our place The desire and hope to save the Earth from disaster Mystery of love

  • African
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Background vocals
  • Singer
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Cowbell
  • Drum set
  • Ganza
  • Kalimba
  • Tambourine
  • Udu
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • South Africa
AGUACERO

The lyrics relate the state of sadness and loneliness after the breakup, which yearns for clarity and relief through the enchantment of the rain. AGUACERO is a song with an Argentine folk air and mixtures of other cultures ........................... La letra realata el estado de trsiteza y soledad luego de una ruptura, que anhela la claridad y el alivio a través del encanto de la lluvia. AGUACERO es una canción con un aire folklórico argentino y mixturas de otras culturas

  • African
  • Indian
  • Traditional / Folk
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Background vocals
  • Singer
  • Accordion
  • Piano
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Percussion
  • Tabla
  • Udu
  • Fula flute
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
My Law

I put this poem to music that I discovered on the internet. It is supposedly written by a Maori poet over 150 years ago. It really resonated with me - I believe the route of all conflict lies within us all. This poem talks about how we create our own future and that we are both our own Devil and our own God - but the universe by it's very nature rebuilds what is destroyed. Therefore it is a song of hope. I am thrilled with the contributions from such wonderful musicians I discovered on Beyond Music. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • African
  • Fusion
  • Improvisational
  • Jazz
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Bass
  • Singer
  • Electric guitar
  • Zeze / Tzetze / Dzendze
  • Drum set
  • Sundrum
  • Udu
  • Keyed trumpet
  • Natural trumpet
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Japan
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • United States of America
Lelo

We grow up being taught to avoid conflicts at all cost. But sometimes, enough is enough and the day comes to stand for oneself, confront and return blow. The track started as a pure percussion track composed by Ronan in (4/7) and set the tone for an hedgy atmosphere. Syssi added the vocals and lyrics in lingala giving an afro vibe to the tune. Finally Izaiah finalized the production in his studio in Kampala.

  • African
  • Alternative
  • Electronic
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Synthesizer
  • Electric guitar
  • Musical bow
  • Drum machine
  • Gong
  • Udu
  • Congo
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
Solo deja

A song about losses composed by Silvia Aramayo and Sebastián Pérez, arranged for flutes, piano, bass and percussion.

  • Vocal
  • World
  • Piano
  • Udu
  • Singer
  • Bass guitar
  • Chimes
  • Percussion
  • Alto flute
  • Traverse flute
  • Argentina
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
A World Beyond

Acknowledging the inter-connective bonds of people throughout the world, a universal pursuit unites us, revealing we are not alone. Now is our time to manifest alignment with our precious global community. Music inspires our hearts to beat as one. Children’s voices are integral to our commitment for humanity’s most powerful will for peace. A World Beyond represents a call-to-action to create our greatest transformation. United in resolve, Shunzo, Diego and Ronan collaborated to create universal optimism, determination and love through music.

  • African
  • Fusion
  • Improvisational
  • Instrumental
  • Jazz
  • World
  • Background vocals
  • Choir
  • Singer
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Africa
  • United States of America
Deep Chandi

Between nothingness and eternity, where the wind that shapes the spaces between the grooves of our existence, lies the sonic dimension of truth which unites us all.

  • Ambient
  • Asian
  • Gypsy
  • Instrumental
  • Minimal
  • New Age
  • Soundtrack
  • Traditional / Folk
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Chanting
  • Overtone / Throat singing
  • Bass drum
  • Percussion
  • Tabla
  • Udu
  • Didgeridoo
  • Duduk
  • Armenia
  • India
  • Mongolia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
Nzela - The Way

From cycle to cycle, through time and space, we all feel the same need to be connected. Our desire for meaning and understanding is the very tool that connects, reflects and divides us. Asking the question, how is my home, my planet, my space? Look within to find the answers and act accordingly.

  • African
  • Blues
  • Soundtrack
  • Traditional / Folk
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Choir
  • Singer
  • Adungu / Ekidongo
  • Cello
  • Mandocello
  • Bass drum
  • Cymbals
  • Dun Dun / Dundun
  • Percussion
  • Udu
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Germany
  • Mali
  • South Africa
Iyavela

Iyavela is a Xhosa translation, meaning 'recurring' or 'it appears'. The theme came to me during a walk in the Table Mountain National Park, as a reminder of how the only reason any of the quality of life we experience as humans, during our short-lived lives on earth, is because of the abundant perfection of our natural environment. How essential, and fundamentally worth protecting this is.

  • African
  • Blues
  • Fusion
  • Improvisational
  • Indian
  • Soundtrack
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Background vocals
  • Chanting
  • Singer
  • Organ electric
  • Adungu / Ekidongo
  • Bass guitar
  • Electric guitar
  • Zeze / Tzetze / Dzendze
  • Bass drum
  • Cymbals
  • Kalimba
  • Percussion
  • Tabla
  • Udu
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
Lany Vatsy

A hopeful lament about the current pandemic situation on our planet. Conceived, co-written and recorded in Spain and South Africa, using African, Indian, contemporary-western and Malagasy instruments.

  • African
  • Asian
  • Traditional / Folk
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Background vocals
  • Singer
  • Bass guitar
  • Valiha
  • Bass drum
  • Caxixi
  • Chimes
  • Percussion
  • Tabla
  • Udu
  • India
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • South Africa
Hypnotisee

Hypnotisee ("Hypnotized" in French) tells how one can get fascinated and soothed by the infinite beauty of our planet earth and its amazing nature. The track brings together musicians from the Americas, Europe and Africa and represents a true melting pot musical with Latin, Indian, classical and jazzy influences.

  • Easy Listening
  • Fusion
  • Jazz
  • Latino
  • World
  • Background vocals
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Violin
  • Percussion
  • Tabla
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Congo
  • Denmark
  • South Africa
  • United States of America
Sky Wind

"Sky Wind" is a true reflection and peaceful music message. Uniting three different cultures, Jyvan Gasparyan JR. from Armenia and Ronan Skillen from Cape Town and (me) German from Chile. The title reflects my feelings that the wind can carry good energies and messages around the Planet through our sky. The wind is Jyvan, my guitar the vehicle and Ronan taking care the wind goes to beings that will receive those messages. German Herlein.-

  • World
  • Guitar
  • Cymbals
  • Percussion
  • Duduk
  • Kangling
  • Armenia
  • Chile
  • South Africa
Echo Valley

Inspired by the desert plains of Armenia, rich biodiversity of the Cape floral kingdom and an etherial dimension where the sky meets the ocean, three sonic sorcerers meet for a musical conversation. A deeply haunting, yet delicately enlivening collaboration of Duduk, Overtone SInging and Percussion, set in a timeless, contemporary abstract soundscape. Recorded over 3 sessions in Yerevan, Armenia, Alcalalí, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa.

  • African
  • Ambient
  • Instrumental
  • Soundtrack
  • Traditional / Folk
  • Vocal
  • World
  • Overtone / Throat singing
  • Adungu / Ekidongo
  • Bass drum
  • Percussion
  • Udu
  • Duduk
  • Armenia
  • Mali
  • Mongolia
  • South Africa
  • Uganda

No submissions for Beyond Music Project Volume 1.