The Caretaker releasing two-year, six LP sonic exploration of dementia (listen to the first)
Ambient musician and producer James Leyland Kirby released An Empty Bliss Beyond This World in 2011 under his persona The Caretaker. On it, he examined old age, specifically the way the human brain, and memory, degrades with Alzheimer’s disease, but also the way music memories seem to last. Using crackly old big band records as the base, some tracks are the original recording, drenched in reverb, played mostly as-is; while later on the album a single phrase might echo over and over as a closed, warm, loop of nostalgia.. It’s a wonderful, moving record. (Stream it below.) He’s carrying on with the theme for new six albums, all titled Everywhere at the End of Time, tracking the fictional mind of The Caretaker over two years, from early stages of dementia through total memory loss, and the albums will be released “in real time” between now and March 2019:
‘Everywhere at the end of time’ is a new and finite
series exploring dementia, its advance and its totality.
Featuring the sounds from the journey The Caretaker
will make after being diagnosed as having early
Each stage will reveal new points of progression,
loss and disintegration. Progressively falling further
and further towards the abyss of complete memory
loss and nothingness.
Viewing dementia as a series of stages can be
a useful way to understand the illness, but it is
important to realise that this only provides a rough
guide to the progress of the condition.
Drawing on a recorded history of 20 years of
recollected memories this is one final journey
and study into recreating the progression of
dementia through sound.
The first of those albums is out now, described as “Here we experience the first signs of memory loss. This stage is most like a beautiful daydream. The glory of old age and recollection. The last of the great days.” You can stream it below.
Meanwhile, after much demand An Empty Bliss Beyond This World is being repressed on vinyl which will be out October 4.