The Inspiring True Story of the Boy Who Directed Aphex Twin’s Latest Video

Featuring an exclusive interview with 12 year-old Aphex Twin collaborator Ryan Wyer and his mother

ryan wyer interview

Screenshot from Ryan Wyer's video for 'CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]'

The face of 12 year-old Dublin native Ryan Wyer has become emblematic of Aphex Twin’s new Cheetah EP, released today. Wyer was chosen by Richard D. James (a.k.a. Aphex Twin) and his label, Warp records, to direct the official video for ‘CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]’ (Ryan also stars in the video). Today, Aphex Twin posted this heartwarming shot of Wyer celebrating Cheetah‘s release:


Posted by Aphex Twin on Friday, July 8, 2016

So how did it all happen? The short answer, according to Ryan, is that “Rich thinks I make cool videos.” Ryan’s mother, Marie O’Toole Wyer, transcribed her son’s answers to interview questions via email. Asked to describe his hometown of Rush, County Dublin, Ryan said, “I live by the sea in a small town, it’s quiet and peaceful.” When he grows up, Ryan hopes to be “a musician and a director.” He’s certainly off to a promising start. 

Ryan’s journey with Aphex Twin began when James and Warp took notice of videos on Wyer’s YouTube channel. Ryan’s channel included Aphex Twin ‘fan videos,’ including one for ‘minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix].’  The Wyers were surprised when Warp contacted Ryan to create an official Aphex Twin video. According to Marie, “Warp said that Ryan had been spoken about a lot and they loved his work.” Ryan’s admirers also included filmmaker Chris Cunningham, whose twisted Aphex Twin videos (like those for ‘Window Licker’ and ‘Come to Daddy’) are considered masterworks of the music video medium. According to Marie, both James and Cunningham wrote comments on videos on Ryan’s YouTube channel.

Warp sent Ryan the Cheetah EP and asked him to make a video for a track of his choosing. As for the creative process, Ryan says, “Warp and Rich told me to do what I do best, that’s all.” Ryan’s ‘CIRKLON3 [Колхозная mix]’ video includes footage of Wyer dancing with friends and family. The cast are adorned with Aphex Twin shirts and eery, humorous masks bearing an iconic image of James’ face. Marie explains that “Warp and Richard put Ryan under no pressure and were very supportive and helpful along the whole process.”

Marie noted similarities in the personalities of Ryan and Mr. James. “As most people know,” she wrote, “Richard likes to stay out of the limelight and is quite private and has a very quirky sense of humour – actually very like Ryan. Ryan loves his own space and doesn’t really care what others think of him. So they have very similar personalities.”

The reality of Ryan’s international exposure settled in when the family saw his video screened publicly on a digital display in Tokyo. “Ryan’s face just lit up with excitement,” Marie explained. “We shed many tears of happiness for our very special, talented young man.” The entire experience “has given Ryan a huge confidence boost,” she says. Marie also noted that Ryan’s story has served as an inspiration to other children who have a disability and their families. Ryan has autism and is visually impaired.

“Ryan has listened and loved music from a very young age,” Marie wrote, “and we always knew he would do something with music. He expresses how he feels through music…. We are hugely thankful to Richard and Warp for seeing Ryan’s talent and giving him this amazing opportunity. They made his dreams come true.”

Early this week, Marie tweeted this photo of two friends shopping for records:

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