Dissonance launches Sessions video series to connect music and mental health

Stories of resilience and recovery come from many places, but a new video series is about to showcase the unique stories coming from Minnesota’s artistic community.

The Twin Cities non-profit organization Dissonance is premiering a new set of YouTube videos called Dissonance Sessions.

"I want to see that it’s okay to tell your story and not be judged," Sessions editor Jason Chaffee told FOX 9.

The concept of the Sessions videos is to take a deeper dive into local artists to discover the meaning behind their music and how it reflects a journey of recovery or contributed to mental health healing.

"We wanted to go back our roots, which is telling stories about mental health and recovery in the arts, and that’s what Sessions does." Dissonance founder Sarah Souder Johnson said. "We have conversations with artists about their stories."

The first Sessions episode with Minnesota musician Charlie Parr will be released on the Dissonance YouTube page on Monday, May 23.

"Charlie’s wonderful," Souder Johnson said. "He’s such a real, authentic person. He absolutely puts himself out there and he’s honest about who he is."

The Session’s idea came in part from Minneapolis singer-songwriter Jason Chaffee.  

"With Sessions, I wanted to take a deep dive because I’m a musician myself," he said.

Chaffee admits that he has worked toward his own recovery and finds comfort in the stories shared by others either in their music or in group settings.

"But to know that we’re somewhat similar in our stories and our struggles and finding a path out is what’s important," Chaffee said.

Ultimately, the Sessions series is about trying to connect the creative community to better mental health through personal experience and reflection.

"And I want to show that side of the story and that it is okay to maybe help lessen the stigma in the whole mental health arena," Chaffe said.

Dissonance plans to initially produce five episodes of Sessions this year with more to follow.

"Certainly, if Sessions helps other people, whether it’s people from the general public or artists, and they want to start having more of these conversations with one another, that’s the goal," Souder Johnson said.