Julian Stewart, "Destigmatizing Mental Illness Through Music"

Even today, there is a striking amount of stigma towards mental illness in the United States. Unfortunately, this stigma has led to an epidemic of people feeling ostracized for factors outside of their control. This project is a short album where each song represents a different mental illness, and the aim is to represent the struggles and emotions experienced by those with mental illnesses. In order to best achieve this goal, the creation of the album was preceded by an extensive research stage, consisting of live interviews with people who have experience with mental illness, and a review of papers, articles, and forums on the subject. The album itself consists of several genres of music, and focuses primarily on creating moods and telling stories through instrumentation. Through the use of research methods and artistic techniques, I hope to provide representation for those struggling with mental illness, and encourage empathy from those who may have a hard time understanding what mental illness really entails.