UNITED KINGDOM: The Caretaker is a project by British producer Leyland Kirby that began 20 years ago. The beautifully haunting album consists of a total of twelve tracks and stretches for more than six hours. It is a musical representation of six different stages of Dementia/Amnesia.
The music under this name is comprised mainly of ballroom music from the ’30s to ’40s, which is then electronically manipulated to test the listener’s memory.
Everywhere At The End of Time
The purpose of the album is to make the listeners experience the diminishing sense of identity and the fading memories.
The ambient record portrays the gradual deterioration of memory, terror, failure of remembrance and the terrifying sense of losing oneself. Precisely, Everywhere in the End of Time explores “Dementia, its advancement, and its totality”.
The dreadful six stages
There are six stages in the album that depicts the mental health of the protagonist.
Pages slowly unravelling: Whoever The caretaker was referring to in this song still holds on to the memory well in stage 1. The individual reminisces on their life. He has a reason to rejoice with pleasant emotions attached to each memory.
Scathing flowers in an improper pot: The memories are letting go of the individual. Precisely, a part of the brain is eroding but not to an extent that it is unpleasant. Something is odd, in obviousness but not enough to bother about.
Disorientated use of colours: The brain is been eaten in prominency. Moreover, the memories are no more linked. Fragments of certain memories are mashed up and the person is confused and disconnected.
A woman looking down: A profile of a woman looking down, streaky with cold colours blending together with barely any warmth. A tint of comfort and pleasantness remain in this stage. The memories are mixed to the point it is frightening and uncomfortable.
An abstract representation of the protagonist: The protagonist is seen stepping downstairs, dressed in old fashioned clothing. The person is descending into madness, without much of a path to rely on. The person is lost and is unwilling to continue.
The back of a painting with tape: In the album, the painting is turned away and the tape is peeling, perhaps to indicate diminishing. Additionally, at this stage, the mind completely loses anything resembling the memories of a life lived. Here, The Caretaker provides no comment to further indicate that it is the end, and nothing can be said about nothing. Moreover, there are hinges on the right side of the painting, so perhaps it is not a painting at all but something that swings, which leads to the end.
The Caretaker was inspired by the haunted ballroom scene from the movie ‘The Shining’. It bought him to create albums largely about memory, or the lack thereof. Everywhere at the end of time is Kirby’s long-running album in 6 parts, the last of which was released in 2019. It explores a person’s slow descent into nothingness.
If skipped to the last few minutes of the album, the culmination of hearing, feeling, experiencing this slow degradation of what humans hold most dear over the course of hours is beautiful. Moreover, it is more astonishing since the noise and horror gives way to something new. The part makes the discomfort and disturbing nature of a majority of Stages from three and ahead almost worth it.