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Unseen service
May 2, 2024
SOCCER STAR Dayne Bartscht ‘04, pictured on the right, was a star player and captain of the soccer team at Greenhills. “He was the guy you wanted on your team and the player that other teams loved to hate,” Associate Director of Admissions and former athletic director Eric Gajar said. “He was chippy, and he didn’t take anything from other people.”
Brewing it up
May 1, 2024

Born to sing

Rykken Vivekanand produces poetry in the form of music
HARMONY ECHOES Rykken Vivekanand captures a crowd with his Guitar and singing skills. On stage performing, “I love creating and performing music,” Vivekanand said, “I feel a very specific set of emotions that Im able to kind of draw from on stage.”
HARMONY ECHOES Rykken Vivekanand captures a crowd with his Guitar and singing skills. On stage performing, “I love creating and performing music,” Vivekanand said, “I feel a very specific set of emotions that I’m able to kind of draw from on stage.”

Sitting in a dark room, harmony flowing through your mind. Song and emotion expressing the inexpressible, the feeling of rhythm coursing through your veins. Experiencing an entire lifetime of emotion in just three to four minutes. Music is everywhere and in everything, especially for Rykken Vivekanand ‘26 who started his everlasting passion for music at a preschool show and tell circle.

Vivekanand plays a vast array of instruments, including the piano, ukulele, bass, and guitar. He started playing the ukulele when he was five years old, which was his first introduction to music, sparking his flourishing interest in the art.  

“In the second year of preschool, this girl named Quinn did a little show and tell, and she played ukulele for all of us,” said Vivekanad. “I was like, ‘wow, that is really cool, I want to learn ukulele.’ So I began taking ukulele lessons.”

Vivekanand has always been interested in performing music, playing instruments in elementary talent shows and showcases. In recent years, he has become more inclined to composing and releasing his own music. 

“Eighth grade is when I started recording music, and then I started teaching myself music production,” said Vivekanand. “I think writing songs out of emotion and letting my feelings kind of guide how that song shapes and morphs into what it becomes.”

Singing and distributing lyrics comes with difficulty, particularly for Rykken, who says that it was originally hard for him to share his tunes with other people.

“I hated the way I sounded back then in eighth grade, and I didn’t show anyone my recordings,” Vivekanand said. “But at the end of eighth grade, the beginning of ninth grade, is when I reached a point where I wanted to start distributing this music. I needed to get over this anxiety of other people hearing my singing. Honestly, that was exposure therapy where anyone who would listen, I’d be like, ‘listen to my music.’ So now I don’t care, I really don’t care if someone hears my voice.”

The process of drafting new music is different for everyone, but for Vivekanand, it is less like a chore and more like a hobby. 

“Whenever I feel sad, or I have this emotion or something, I try and capture it in a song,” said Vivekanand. “I’ve been doing that a lot lately. In the last couple of months, I’ve probably written 30 to 40 songs. It’s crazy how cathartic it is for me, and I think that’s what really drives me. I want to share my message, and I don’t know what it is yet, but I’m finding it.”

Alexandra DaSilva ‘26, a close friend of Vivekanand, says he has an immense talent for songwriting and as an instrumentalist. 

“He learned how to play the piano in a year,” said DaSilva. “It was the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve been playing the piano for like eight years, and he was just immediately up to that skill. He’s very geared to what he likes to do, and he has branched out to working digitally and actually producing songs.” 

Now Vivekanand is working on releasing a new album in the upcoming couple of weeks, drawing inspiration from many different and powerful artists. 

“I think I’ve been trying to find my sound, and I think I’ve landed on it with this next album that’s coming out soon,” Vivekanand said. “This sound that I’ve been able to kind of manifest in a way, has come from me listening to music, but mostly from what makes me feel. When I listen to Radiohead, Lizzy McAlpine, Billie Eilish or people such as that, I feel a very specific set of emotions that I’m able to draw from to create my own music, and it ends up sounding similar to those people because those are my inspirations.” 

Vivekanand’s Mother and published author, Jennifer Vivekanand is a huge supporter and enthusiast of her son’s music. 

“He’s been in a lot of creative things. He’s just a creative kid,” said Jenniffer, “He did a piano recital at the Saline Music center, and it was music that he wrote and composed all on his own. His music teacher got up and said that he was really sophisticated for his age and also that he wrote everything himself. I just remember looking around and the reaction of the other parents, and I felt really proud he had done all that work himself.”

Music is and always will be an integral part of Vivekanand’s life. Whether or not he chooses to pursue it in the future, it is bound to always hold a special place in his heart. 

“My entire life there’s always been music and at every moment there’s music in my head. The only time I don’t hear music in my head is when I’m listening to music, playing music, or when I’m writing music,” said Vivekanand. “Maybe that’s why I like it so much, sometimes I can’t sleep at night because there are songs in my head, some exist, some do not, and I don’t think that’s going away anytime soon, so even if I don’t pursue music it’s not going anywhere.”

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