Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

John Florio

Second Advisor

Debra Marquart

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Through a series of concert reviews, album reviews, and personal essays, this thesis tracks a musical memoir about the transition from a childhood growing up in a sheltered Connecticut suburb to young adulthood working in New York City, discovering relationships and music scenes that shape the narrator's sense of identity as well the larger culture he finds himself in. The essays touch upon the development of personality in aspects that reveal the roots of the narrator's political views, his interest in sports, existential beliefs about free will and theoretical physics, the human condition in the 21st century, and his search for love and companionship. Behind these themes plays a soundtrack of music which the narrator uses to guide himself by, connecting his story to songs through deep analysis of the theory behind them. New York City presents itself as a world of opportunity as the narrator settles into adulthood. The ability to experience the live music scene and encounter a cast of individuals whose personalities announce themselves above the din of the crowd. The city also poses its own challenges with the daily grind, the messiness inherent in so many people existing in such proximity.