About Adriana 

Author & Journalist Adrian Barton

Hello, and welcome.

I am a Canadian journalist and author based in Vancouver, British Columbia, writing a book about the new science behind music as medicine.

A former staff reporter at Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, I have focused on healthy aging, cancer care, neuroscience, genetics and the grey area between Big Pharma and Big Wellness. 

I have worked in the publishing industry for more than 20 years as a reporter, magazine editor and writer. I was the assigning editor of a weekly arts and entertainment section of The Globe and Mail, called Vancouver 7. I’ve covered health, science, pop-culture trends, music and visuals arts for newspapers and magazines including BCBusiness, Western Living, BlackFlash, Azure and Utne.

Before that, I studied classical music for 17 years under some of North America’s top cellists, including international soloist Antonio Lysy and Stephen Gerber, former principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra. 

Here are some tidbits from my life so far:

most memorable interviews:

Yo-Yo Ma, one of the most gracious artists I’ve ever met, spoke with me about his East-West fusion group, the Silk Road Ensemble, after I attended their performance at the 2001 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Syria, at Aleppo’s ancient citadel (now partially destroyed by warfare). 

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, filled me in on how high-intensity workouts, omega-3 fats and mindfulness can slow down cellular wear and tear. 

And I’ll never forget my interview with Elvis Harry Wilson, a soft-spoken indigenous man living in subsidized housing in Vancouver’s drug-addled Downtown Eastside. He told me how he kicked his addictions and used his settlement from residential school abuse to buy a house for his sister. 

Wildest things I’ve ever done: 

Skinny-dipping in the Dead Sea at sunset, on the Jordanian side. Plunging into a piranha-filled tributary of the Bolivian Amazon after a nearby canoe hit mine while I was observing sloths. 

Weirdest thing I’ve ever done for money:

Pretending to lick the walls of a cave while dressed as a zombie, back in my early 20s, as an extra for movies and TV series such as Happy Gilmour and The X-Files

Proudest moments:

Watching my son grow from a handful of cells into a fun-loving 10-year-old who gets a kick out of gardening, skim-boarding and making sushi. Building a happy marriage (and choosing the right man to do it with). 

Biggest regret:

Taking so long to find my way back to music after years of suffering from what I call “musical PTSD.” 

Guilty pleasures:

Red wine with friends. Black licorice. Surfing home interiors sites. Netflix.

Join me 

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I began studying the cello at age 5.

I began studying the cello at age 5.

Me at age 3, playing one of my mother's pottery flutes in Amatenango, Mexico.

Me at age 3, playing one of my mother's pottery flutes in Amatenango, Mexico.