And so it begins…

On Monday 22nd June I received my offer to start a Masters at the University of Nottingham, researching Russian heavy metal.

If you’ve made it this far, then that’s a good sign!  It means you’re not one of the many doubters (most of whom are more than willing to confess they know nothing about the Arts Postgraduate Research system) or you are, but curiosity has overcome your disgust!

This means that, from September, I’ll be back to being a student in the University where it all started.  I will confess now to feeling like I was 18 again, receiving an email with the congratulatory but guarded tone of the standard offer letter.  Of course, this being nine years post-graduation (from the subject), my offer was unconditional this time and I don’t need to sort accommodation or travel, nor funding and things (at least not this year).

I do, however, have to negotiate a day off a week at work. I hope this will give me enough time to dedicate to my Masters research, as I am carrying out the course as part-time study.  I cribbed off this website and, working for eight hours each study day plus another nine-ish hours per week will cover the apparent 1800 hours recommended (as far as I can determine) for the course.

The research itself will involve me looking at the influence of politics on the lyrics of Ariia’s first album, Megalomania, written and recorded on to cassette tape in late 1985. At the time, heavy metal was still banned in the Soviet union, and Gorbachev’s perestrokia reforms hadn’t even begun to take hold. But change was in the air. Ariia (Ария) are arguably the most successful Russian heavy metal band, and while this album was not the first heavy metal album to be written and recorded (I think that honour goes to Black Coffee), another is supposedly the first to be officially released in 1987 at the lifting of the ban.

ARIA logo

And why start this now? Because now it’s official and I will be doing this. When it was still merely a possibility, there wasn’t much point in posting in this blog. But now, now things are official, now all the hard work over the past 6 years has come to fruition, it’s live.

Or should that be alive?