Hiram College is known for its interdisciplinary approach to education. Students are encouraged to explore interests both in and outside their major, expanding their knowledge and world experience through internships and study-abroad opportunities. Tyler Sellers, a 2016 Hiram graduate, took this ideology to heart. Sellers, originally from Mentor, Ohio, earned a B.A. in neuroscience this past May and works as an EEG technologist at the Cleveland Clinic. But science isn’t Sellers’ only passion. The young neuroscientist has also been making music since he was 15 years old.
Sellers recently produced an album titled “Motorcycles in New Delhi.” The release consists of six original songs inspired by his study-abroad trip to Bhutan during spring 2014. The trip was led by professors Kerry Skora, Ph.D., professor and chair of religious studies, and Steve Zabor, Ph.D., professor emeritus of economics and environmental studies. Sellers refers to Skora and Zabor as “real academic heroes and great, memorable characters.” During the trip, the professors led students on hikes through the Bhutanese mountainside teaching them about culture and spirituality along the way.
Sellers’ combines his upbeat “synthpop” style with rhythmic drumming and ambient vocals (recorded in Hiram’s own Koritansky Hall), giving this album a sound all its own.
Sellers weaves many references to Bhutanese stories, legends and traditions into his songs, as sort of a personal reflection and tribute to his experiences, he says. “Seeing the integration of their Buddhist culture on these mountains was a huge inspiration for the lyrics,” he explains.
“Each song has its tale. Right now, I think I’m most attached to ‘Mountain.’ The first few minutes of the song features an ambient phone recording of our last day in the mountains, during our descent,” he says.
As the student travelers made their way down the mountain toward the end of their journey, Sellers’ describes hearing the distant hum of a mysterious voice singing somewhere on the mountainside. “We assumed that [the singing] was coming from a monastery, hidden somewhere in the trees. It was a proper ‘goodbye’ from the world we had spent our last few days in. I took the musical key that the monk was singing in to write the song,” he says.