Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Everywhere at the end of time" by The Caretaker

The Caretaker is one of the many names under which English composer/producer/musician Leyland James Kirby records. Started in 1999 with the release "Selected Memories From The Haunted Ballroom," The Caretaker project was inspired by the last scene in Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant horror film "The Shining," which features the 1934 song "Midnight, The Stars And You" by Ray Noble And His Orchestra. Without giving away a plot point for those who may not have seen "The Shining," the chilling scene alludes to the ideas of ghosts, time, and (the changing nature of) memory. Kirby took that chilling scene and began developing ideas about the echoes of memory and how those echoes can fade. The antique 78 records he samples and loops end up being snippets of songs connected to a time and place but that connection is deliberately tenuous. Aside from the initial spectral sound of this idea, I am sure we have all had the experience of having a melodic phrase or a single line of a verse from a song stuck in our heads, unable to recall what the song is, who sang or played it, or how we know it to begin with. But there it is, a little isolated moment in our brains, surrounded by nothingness, a void. Thus The Caretaker project morphed into the aural manifestation of the disintegration of memory itself...of dementia or Alzheimer's. And now Kirby is in the midst of the final installment of the project called "Everywhere at the end of time," a series of six collections of music, released every six months. According to Kirby, the project itself has dementia. You can listen to Stages 1 and 2 in their entirety through the link below.


'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 as artist will make after being artistically diagnosed as having early onset dementia.

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.


Stage 1 - September 2016 (A+B)
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.

Stage 2 - April 2017 (C+D)
The second stage is the self realisation and awareness that something is wrong with a refusal to accept that. More effort is made to remember so memories can be more long form with a little more deterioration in quality. The overall personal mood is generally lower than the first stage and at a point before confusion starts setting in.

Stage 3 - Released in September 2017

Stage 4 - Released in March 2018

Stage 5 - Released in September 2018

Stage 6 - Released in March 2019


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