by Sheridan Cyr
Central Connecticut graduate of 2012, Matt Swieton will be returning to campus as one of the musicians performing in Decaying in Decades’ “Home for the Holidays” show in Semesters Dec. 2nd. He is the only unique one in the setlist, because Swieton is not really a musician.
His true passion is archeology, though music is what led him to the discovery that he was looking for all along.
“Back in high school I would play music sometimes more than 10 hours a day,” said Swieton. “I didn’t want to pursue going to college.” He had hoped that playing music would get him somewhere instead.
In the back of his mind, Swieton knew better. Though the application processes, university tours and all of the additional labor it takes to get into college were not nearly ideal, Swieton knew he had to do something.
He then was accepted at CCSU and began pursuing a career in music. “If I’m gonna go to school, I may as well study something I enjoy.”
During his first year, he was placed in an archeology course amidst his music courses. Swieton said the Music Department had high demands for its students right off the bat, and he found himself quickly taking a liking to, and finding a sort of safe haven in his archeology course.
Now, Swieton is a stone tool specialist who simply plays music for himself as a side hobby. His career brings him to excavation sites all over the world. Swieton’s job is to rebuild tools that members of societies used hundreds of years ago using only resources they had available during their times. “I make them as a methodological tool to answer questions about people in the past,” he said. Through the process of rebuilding, he learns about their world, culture, hobbies, work, struggles and play. He can then teach others about a culture’s history and understand a little of how our world came to be.
Swieton’s love of music is often an underlying factor of his work. He described a rainy, dreary afternoon with some partners at a site. Part out of boredom, part as a mood-lifter, he took out his guitar and began singing a humorous song about the rain, mud and bugs. He became the highlight of the day amongst his colleagues.
While he has written an album and has played a number of shows, his heart remains with archeology. Swieton is pursuing achieving a doctorate in archeology and continues to explore history throughout the world, but his guitar will never be too far out of reach.