Hum @ Au Contraire Film Festival

Rare is the person who allows you to see them as they truly are. Most of us spend a large part of our time hiding our true selves. Not Kevin Nolan. This Irish guy was diagnosed at the age of 19-years-old with schizoaffective disorder. As part of helping himself cope with this, Kevin turned to music.

Kevin’s world is an interesting one which we get a peek at via this short documentary by director Nathan Fagan. Yes, Kevin has a mental illness. Yes, he has been institutionalized more than a dozen times. Yes, he has largely led a life of isolation and medication. But he has found his passion, which is more than most.

It started when he was young. He began to listen to repetitive noises for hours on end. Noises like vacuums. But after a while it drove his dad nuts, so he began recording different sounds and listening to them with headphones.

It was then he began to realize he could funnel his whirring mind into music. Kevin fell in love with music. He began writing music. When he was doing so it would make him feel better.

Kevin is incredibly bright and well-spoken, practically poetic, when he speaks of music. Or more precisely this comes out when he talks of music. He acknowledges his brain is no fun. That his mental health issues are a burden, but when he is writing or playing music….it is almost like he is in control like no other time.

The downside is when his relationship with music is disrupted by his mental illness. But when he and music are together it is magic. The rather quiet and bookish man turns into a beast onstage. A human transformed by music.

A unique artist who has his very heart and soul laid bare in this documentary. Nothing is held back. Good or bad.

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