Mark Ransom is a guitarist, songwriter, music educator, and depth psychologist. Best known in his home town of Bend, Oregon as founder and creative director of the Bend Roots Revival, his work encourages community dialogue, and explores the relationship between creativity and psychological well being.
Since 2006, Mark has helped develop performing arts programs at eight schools in Central Oregon, providing classes where they have been cut, and creating part-time employment for teaching-artists in the community.
An engaging music-mentor, performer, and author of eight original albums, Mark followed his passions for the arts to a formal study of creative process at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He earned his MA in Depth Psychology, specializing in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. Currently on sabbatical from school to teach and promote his band’s new album, Teleport People, Ransom’s research, academic and arts-based, is leading him toward a doctoral dissertation.
Toward the end of his second year at Pacifica, Mark was published in the journal, Personality Type in Depth. Examining life on the road with one particular band-mate and friend, his article, “When the Music Plays the Band,” explores opportunities for individuation in the arts, and underscores the value of what psychologist James Hillman, called “feeling-function education.”
According to Hillman and Ransom, like yoga and martial arts, ways of the artist and musician offer insights to a general psychology: creative-reflective practices which can help us “re-vision” our traumas and compulsions, transform pathological perspectives, and bring deeper consciousness to our educational systems.
Mark’s marriage of musical dialogue and depth psychological research has given birth to a discipline and field of study he calls, “depth musicology,” His songwriting, musicianship, live performances, teaching, and creative counseling all embody this arts-for-wellbeing philosophy and practice.
A warrior of the road with roots in Colorado as well as Oregon, Ransom tours the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest regularly as a solo artist and with his group, The Mostest. Dubbed by Mark as his “mid-life crisis album,” The Mostest’s latest effort in the studio, Teleport People, shows individual experience reflecting collective tensions in the world—and vice versa. It also exemplifies how anxieties might be mediated through creative process.
Though Teleport People blasts out-of-this-world guitar solos, and moves us into imaginative realms, with what producer Pat Pearsall calls “an original … alien-Moog noise-floor,” the subject of inquiry is decidedly down-to-Earth and human: “There’s nothing we can do, to change the frames of time,” sings Ransom on the second track, “I want to view my own movie. When we get to the middle, press rewind. When we get to the middle, press rewind.”