“Researchers at Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research have begun investigating whether music and technology could help dementia sufferers to remember their daily routines. Alexis Kirke, the man behind the idea, and Alzheimer’s patient Doreen Abbott discuss.” BBC Radio 4 Today Programme


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“Most of us are irritated when our morning alarm goes off. Imagine a chamber performance for cello and mezzo soprano which actually starts with a mobile phone alarm. This is not just any alarm – it is the tune of a short “jingle” that composer Alexis Kirke has written to the libretto of a daily todo list. Alexis is a member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at Plymouth University, and also a member of Plymouth University Dementia Group (PUDG). Through PUDG he met Doreen Abbott at the Alzheimer’s Society “Singing for the Brain” music therapy groups. Alexis had been wondering for a while if the seemingly insidious jingle musical form could be utilized to help people with Alzheimer’s remember new information. There has been plenty of research into how familiar music can be used to bring the brains of people with Alzheimer’s “back to life”. However Alexis could only find two papers on the use of new music to create new memories in those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. One of these he felt was scientifically excellent but artistically limited  and the other has a greater artistic understanding, but was limited to one individual.”