“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

Friedrich Nietzsche
This QRNTN differs a bit from the usual but this week was Mental Health Awareness Week so I thought I'll be sharing with you some projects related to memory and its loss as one of the issues closest to my experience.

If you have read my previous newsletter, you received a link to a playlist I have created, you know I love music already, but you also have to know that I am extremely susceptible to the mood that music brings with it and I cannot stand the wrong music at the wrong time.
So to tie into that, I want to make you aware of something I have recently found out:
there are organisations building personalised playlists for care homes patients who suffer from dementia to prevent them from withdrawing into themselves and help maintain a connection with their relatives, as music apparently is like a side door to memory but separated from it (scientists are still not clear on the 'how'), it's actually an effective method to keep this bond alive. I find this incredibly beautiful and hopeful.
“The music awakens a part of the brain not impacted by dementia and evokes responses, such as singing and movement, and brief moments of reconnection with loved ones.”  source
Another gem I have discovered a few months back and It instantly intrigued me is a magnificent and mammoth opera by musician Leyland Kirby whom for this project acted under the name The Caretaker.

The opera comprises 6 albums and recreates an experience to convey the first person's feeling of memory disappearing due to dementia. Everywhere at The End of Time is based in part on recent studies in dementia research suggesting music is one of the last memories to degrade.

Here comes the cheeky part: I have not listened to the albums in their entirety yet! 

So why am I recommending it?

It is quite a sensitive subject with which I have some personal ties and this is why I will need some time before I'm ready to take it on in full.
BUT if you, like me, love unusual projects and experimentation within music, I would like you to know of its existence so if you have the guts to play it then you can let me know how you felt. I'd be extremely interested. ( WARNING: it's 6hours long )

✺ Here below are the artworks for some of the album covers. They are unsettling and so beautiful.

In these images something is escaping, you're almost there, you can almost reach that idea... the thought that will lead you to the solution but the tragic truth is, you won't.
They are familiar bodies but simultaneously so foreign.
You can almost place them in space and time. Almost.
They connect to you while challenging what you know to be true.
artist: Ivan Seal
title: Everywhere At The end Of Time (Stages 1,4,5,6)

Next in keeping with the theme, is the work of a dear friend whose family is affected by Alzheimer's. She is turning this difficult time into a powerful project that deserves to be viewed.

'Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia.

Dementia is a disease in Ireland which is hidden.

There is a large stigma associated with it, yet in Ireland, Alzheimer's and related dementia currently affects approximately 38,000 people.

That number is predicted to rise to 58,000 by 2021 and 104,000 by 2036.

More than 5 million Americans are living with it and it is projected to rise to almost 14 million by 2050.' Deborah Castro

photo: Deborah Castro
title: Age Is A Privilege, Unless You Forget!

Lastly, I wanted to leave a piece of my personal experience here, which are the last photos I have taken of my paternal grandmother.
She would be hopeful one moment and in pure desperation the next, as shown in these two images taken just seconds apart.

The brain is a funny thing.

...and I have lost the original files.
title: Rosa, 2008.
Fundamentally, memory represents a change in who we are. Our habits, our ideologies, our hopes and fears are all influenced by what we remember of our past.  source
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If this makes you think of something and you want to let me know, feel free to drop me a line 

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Tonne Fleur · 27b Melford Road · London, County (optional) E17 7EN · United Kingdom

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