Thor Harris

Thor Harris is a musician, carpentar, plumber, Austinite, artist, writer, musical instrument maker, and the list goes on. Also, based on the press, he's basically an awesome human being. Since 2010 Thor has performed with the band Swans.  He's also played with several other bands and musicians. I'm tempted to call Thor a precussionist, but in reality I don't think musical instruments exist that he can't play. In one interview he discussed the instruments he plays in live shows with Swans. They include:

a Deagan 515 electric vibraphone, a homemade electric viola with three strings, a clarinet, a trombone, several ordinary drums and cymbals, a little sampler, tubular bells, various gongs, a homemade ten string electric hammer dulcimer and a zurna, which is a double reed Turkish instrument of horror.

In preparation for this blog post I've read a lot about Thor. And now I'm pretty much a big goofy fan girl.


So why am I researching Thor Harris? Well, a little while back, one of my clients sent me a short documentary produced by the MentalHealthChannel.TV. In The Inside Story: Major Depression, Chapter 1, Thor tells his story of surviving depression. You can check out the video below.

I love Thor's story and it touches upon several of the components that we introduced in my last post, Mental Health Recovery. The foremost among these is hope. The National Consensus Statement on Mental Health which you can download here, calls hope "the catalyst of the recovery process." Thor talks about sharing his story to give people hope in several different interviews. He also wrote An Ocean of Despair available from Monofonus Press whose website describes it as "a short, illustrated account of his descent into depression in the late 90s," to let people know that they're not alone. I think it comes with a C.D. I ordered it. I'll let you know what I think.

Thor also takes responsibility for his ongoing recovery and it is evident in his story. He actively maintains his mental health with exercise, important relaionships, creativity, and anti-depressants. Responsability is another component of mental heath recovery. Thor's story also shows how important it is for recovery to be holisitc. Thor even refers to exercise as the best anti-depressant. He discusses his initial resistance to taking medications, and even hints at the non-linear nature of his recovery when he discusses feeling suicidal after a relatively recent break-up. Sometimes recovery is two steps forward, and one step back. Sometimes it's two steps forward and four steps back. But if you're able to hang on to the hope we discussed earlier progress does get made.

My favorite part of the video is when he says, "Going through depression I'm grateful for the things that it taught me." To have come to a point where you can see how valuable an experience was regardless of how painful is an amazing thing.

So yeah...I'm a big goofy Thor Harris Fan Girl now. It happens. Don't judge. Definitely check out more from And if you want some funnies from Thor check out How to Tour in a Band or Whatever or How to Live Like a King for Very Little. To learn more about his music check out his Wikipedia Page. Yep he's so famous he has his own Wikipedia Page, and you should check it out because he works with way too many different artists for me to list here.

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line or hit up the comments section below. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.