Out with a bang
20 July, 2018
This is a somewhat bittersweet post for me to make. On the upside, I am presenting a double-header of two of the most interesting interviews I have conducted for the blog.
First up, I am delighted to include an email interview with one of the contemporary artists I most admire- Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer. His literate and inventive songs are an antidote to much of the blander fare in contemporary pop/rock circles and it is a privilege to ask him about his views on various matters, some of which are related to mental health. . As a fan, I confess to indulging some of my own more personal interest here too however!
Secondly, (and in some depth!) we have David Meagher, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Limerick, who also happens to be a punk-rock guitar player in the acclaimed band Sons of Southern Ulster. He spoke to me in detail about his love of punk music and related issues.
On the downside, I am sorry to say that this will be my last entry for this blog on the College website. Currently, I find I do not have sufficient time to devote to keeping the blog as active as I would like. Also, at this point, having covered topics from music therapy to neuroscience, genres from electronica to punk to traditional folk singing, and interviews with artists struggling with everyday challenges to more severe mental illness, I feel a sufficient range of material has been traversed to leave the blog standing proudly as a complete series.
It has been a great privilege to write the blog over the last five years and to have the opportunity to interview individuals from a range of professional and personal backgrounds. It’s been an intriguing, highly enjoyable, and thought-provoking experience. I’m very grateful for having had the chance to speak to artists whose music I’ve enjoyed for many years. I’ve learned a lot from digging deeper into some of the questions and topics that have long fascinated me but that I had not previously had the chance to explore in depth.
I would like to take this opportunity to everyone who has helped me with this blog. Firstly, members of the current and past Royal College teams, especially Julia Burnside and David Setchell, who provided lots of technical and administrative support (as well encouragement and patience after yet another text-error by me!), and blog editor Dr Peter Hughes for giving the go-ahead at the outset.
I’d like to thank our readers for their interest and feedback, especially those who have contributed comments online and on Twitter.
Most of all, I’d like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to giving insightful and often compelling interviews, particularly on personal and sometimes difficult topics. I hope the experience was rewarding for you, as it certainly was for me.
I will continue to post on our Twitter account about matters related to music and mental health, and music more generally, and I do hope some of our readers will continue to follow and engage with me there. I also hope to add some further playlists on our Minds in Music Spotify page.
Thanks again to all and very best wishes.