My essentials: Ryan Paul Abela’s cultural picks

No 19 | Ryan Paul Abela, 31, Musician, Composer & Orchestrator

Ryan Paul Abela
Ryan Paul Abela

1. Book

I have always been a lover of strategy, so the one book that I have to mention is Sun Tzu: The Art of War. As I read the book hoping to learn valuable lessons from the past, Sun Tzu, who was not in my opinion the wisest Commander in every aspect of his leadership and strategy, has taught me many valuable lessons which I have found particularly useful in my business and personal life as well. One quote which has always been a favourite of mine is “Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”


Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to watch movies anymore, but the one movie that I have recently rewatched is The Pursuit of Happiness. The movie is so well acted, directed and tells a phenomenal story of a man who is at his breaking point, but still manages to overcome his obstacles in order to give his son a better future is truly wonderful. The movie instilled important values in my mind, the values of persistence and hard work and that everything is achievable if you work hard!

3. Internet 

My overflow of emails. Jokes aside, I particularly follow Ian Kirkpatrick also known as Cloudology on YouTube and all social platforms. He has produced a lot of Dua Lipa’s top songs. Since being a musician and a producer myself, I like to keep myself up to date with every popular song out there. Ian has particular tutorials I am fond of on YouTube, he breaks down his popular songs and shows the viewer what he does and how he creates certain effects which is invaluable to any music producer nowadays.

4. Music

This is a very difficult question to answer since there are so many albums and genres which I love to listen too. But if I had to pick THE ONE that is always on my playlist is John Williams’ Score of Superman. I am a huge admirer of his and believe he is one of the greatest composers and orchestrators of all time. The soundtrack of Superman is for me, phenomenal, from the Prelude up until the Finale, the score captures emotions and gives a sound to the hero on a screen. If you listen closely, the notes play the words Sup-per-man in the March! Genius.

5. Place

My favourite place on the island is within the majestic Manoel Theatre. As a young boy I spent countless days there watching musicals, plays and pantomimes, you can even say I grew up in there. My fondest memories of that place is spending every Christmas period in the orchestra pit watching my father Conduct. I know look forward to conduct at the Manoel myself, it will truly be a special and magical experience.