New music supports dementia sufferers

A British composer has devised a new performance aimed at helping dementia sufferers remember new information.

Produced using a complex algorithm, Alexis Kirke’s Remember a Day incorporates different pitches and rhythms to aid sufferers in creating new memories.

The work was composed in collaboration with Doreen Abbott, a dementia sufferer whom Kirke met through a music therapy group.

Abbott’s daily tasks and medication list provided the libretto for the 15-minute piece, which is a work for cello and mezzo-soprano.

It will be performed at the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival in Plymouth, UK, this week.

Kirke, a filmmaker and composer, is a member of both the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at Plymouth University and Plymouth University Dementia Group.

It is hoped his work will promote further research into the benefits of music for memory loss caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.