I’m Ryan, but you can call me McNutt. Most do. Heck, some of my best friends get confused when someone uses my first name in their company. It only gets weird if my more Internet-famous brother is in the same conversation.
I’m a writer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. By day, I work for the region’s largest university (Dalhousie) as a publications manager. Whenever I can, I write about music. I’m a regular contributor to The Coast, Halifax’s weekly, and I’ve contributed to publications such as Canadian Notes and Queries and Maisonneuve, where I ran the Music Room column for two years. (I was actually nominated for a National Magazine Award for the publication’s “The Music We Hate” feature, though given the amazing writers who were part of that cover story, I was mostly just happy to be along for the ride.)
Currently, I’m also working on my Masters in Musicology at Dalhousie part-time. While this pursuit has limited the amount I can freelance, it’s also expanded the toolkit with which I attack musical questions that I find intriguing, and the chance to study music while also working full-time may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So here we are.
I started McNutt Against the Music as a personal blog in 2006. In planning for its most recent relaunch, I actually re-read and sorted through the entire archives, and what it documented was a scattered 20-something coming to realize how much music — and, more significantly, starting conversations about music — was a driving force in his life. Over the years, the personal stories and off-topic posts began to disappear, replaced by a whole variety of musical thought. At times, this has been a place for quick observations. At others, it’s been about long-winded analysis and argument. Sometimes it’s focused more on reviews, at others on essays. And sometimes (like during much of 2012) it hasn’t been a place for much at all.
I hope that in its current incarnation, I’ve set up a tool that will allow me to continue to tackle the musical questions that interest me, whether they live on a groove, a radio, a YouTube video or a hard drive. And I thank you for checking in on me every now and then.
You can reach me at email@example.com