News from The Caretaker camp brings sad word that Leyland Kirby has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. In a rather bold move Kirby has decided to embark on a documentation of the stages of his disease, releasing six works between now and March of 2019. The works are set to follow his own progression through the stages of deterioration and mirror his own dissociation with others’ sense of reality. In his own words, “The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors.”
Kirby has explored this subject matter before on The Caretaker’s releases, but I had no idea it was so close to home. The first installment is built similarly to many of his previous works on looped pieces of 78s and since it documents the first stage following diagnosis, the music here is fairly clear with bits of distortion and distention peeking in. The rest of the stages are sure to let Kirby’s trademarked erosion process work on the tracks. As its impossible to review something like this until its complete, we can all only listen along as Kirby works his way through this. Having seen the effects of dementia firsthand, its pretty incredible that he’s undertaken such a public project and personally I wish him well in his journey. It must be frightening, I’m sure.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.