Ross Bartlett, known artistically as Retland, crafts intricate ambient soundscapes that transcend conventional musical boundaries. Based in Portland, Oregon, Bartlett’s foray into music began with a guitar inherited from his late uncle during his teenage years. This serendipitous inheritance was the genesis of his musical journey, rich in intuitive creativity and passion.

Retland’s sound is characterized by its evolving atmospheres that encapsulate dynamic emotional states. Bartlett brings an unorthodox approach to composition, allowing his creations to flow naturally, untethered by conventional musical guidelines. This unique methodology is evident in the profound connection listeners feel with his music, often described as an organic and emotional experience.

Drawing inspiration from a diverse range of artists like Aphex Twin, deadmau5, Trent Reznor, The Foo Fighters, Hans Zimmer, Olafur Arnalds, and Johann Johannsson, Bartlett’s influences are as eclectic as his sound. His creations blend the realms of organic ambient and space-themed atmospheric ambient, reflecting his wide-ranging musical tastes.

Bartlett’s creative process is a harmonious blend of technology and nature. Primarily producing “in-the-box” using digital instruments and samples, he also incorporates natural elements such as self-recorded nature sounds and guitar. His sound design is a testament to his experimental spirit, continuously exploring until he captures the essence of his artistic vision.

Intriguingly, Bartlett’s passion for music parallels his professional life as a psychologist. This dual pursuit enriches his music with a deeper understanding of the human psyche, infusing his compositions with layers of emotional depth and introspection. Retland’s music is not just an artistic expression but a medium through which Bartlett explores and connects with the complex tapestry of human emotions.

Retland’s personal philosophy resonates with the belief that music is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. He views his music as a conduit for emotional expression and connection, not just for himself but for his listeners as well. In a world increasingly fraught with overstimulation, Bartlett sees his music as a sanctuary for mental wellness, complementing mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, and guided imagery.

Looking ahead, Bartlett is expanding his musical horizons with the launch of “Gentle Resonance,” a project dedicated to releasing ambient tracks for relaxation and sleep. This new venture aims to release an album every two weeks throughout 2024, furthering Retland’s mission to offer aural solace in a world in need of calm.

View Retland’s discography here.