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On Wednesday June 14 2023 I successfully defended my doctoral thesis “Songs in the Key of Collaboration: Engaging with Anthropocene moments through personal and collaborative songwriting,” at Aarhus University.

The outpouring of love and support in relation to this moment was deeply touching, and I felt – and feel – blessed to have the support. Along with a budding team of collaborators I will now work to raise awareness of personal and collaborative songwriting’s potential to further interhuman connection and understanding.

It has been a privilege to be able to dedicate myself to do this research, and I feel honored to have had my thesis examined by Professor Carolyn Ellis, Dr @David Carless, and Professor Laura McAtackney + having had the thesis committee so expertly chaired by Professor McAtackney.

They engaged critically with the extensive piece of work that the product-based thesis had become, but also took time to acknowledge the work and what had been achieved. Paraphrasing from memory, I believe the first thing Dr Ellis said was: “This is by far the best literature review I have ever seen.” And, again paraphrasing, I believe the last thing Dr Carless said was “it isn’t so much what can Martin learn from academia, but what can academia learn from Martin.” It was heartwarming to feel that the product and thesis was recognized in such a clear way, and I feel emboldened to keep carrying on the work.

I would like to acknowledge the following people for having played different roles during my thesis work:

A special thanks to my main PhD supervisor Dr @Alan O’Leary for valuable ongoing discussions, feedback, and for unfaltering support. A big thanks also to my co-supervisors Dr @Nick Shepherd and Dr Andreas Roepstorff for many productive discussions and feedback along the way.

A warm thanks to the co-writers of the songs that were explored in my thesis, Justine Hansen, Riyaz Rawoot Physio, Avela Booi, Merete Jensen, and Kirstine Birk. Also, a big thanks to @Lul Omar, @Gideon Malherbe (Casper Ace), and Steven Robins that I have also co-written songs with for the album “Songs in the Key of Collaboration.” And thanks to all co-writers I have worked with throughout this project. I plan to include more songs on future albums.

Thanks to: Amber Louise Abrams, @Joshua B. Cohen, Lars Emmerik Damgaard Knudsen@, Anne Line Dalsgård,Steven Robins, Lauren Muller, Nicky Visser, Jan Thomsen, Roar Amundsen, Jeff Cohen, and Helle Hansen for productive conversations and feedback. And thanks to Mette Terp Høybye for ongoing feedback and support also during trying times.

🫶 In memory of co-writers and friends who passed away while I was doing my doctoral research and writing this dissertation: Sue Moody, Keith Moody, and Peter Stephen Shrimpton.