HOW THIS PROJECT CAME TO BE
Why? As my friend's husband was passing away from brain cancer in 2013, all awareness and memory access eluded him, except the lyrics to the many, many songs he had known. While he was unable to remember the names of anyone close to him, he was still able to sing the lyrics to all the songs he had ever known. I realized music memories must be lodged in a place in our brains separate from where we store other memories.
Why? As a performer and composer several years ago I discovered music, fabulous music, from days gone by-the 1930s-1950s. Smitten and driven I learned dozens of hits ( some common and well known, and some obscure) on upright bass and lead vocals, assembled a top notch band and have had numerous shows in local venues and private parties.
Why? I used to do massage therapy with elders and people in hospice care. Many of my clients were in memory care units. Many lived in what appeared to be anxiety ridden states. Based on my friend's husbands ability to recall only lyrics when all other brain functions declined and based on my experience with elders living with memory loss, I have a hunch that if i play songs for our elders, songs not heard for decades, we might allow them a pleasurable few minutes of intact memories.
Now several years after working on a set list that lets elders journey back in time despite memory loss, I have noticed research and information coming to light that bares out my initial hunch.
Why? Music Memory Live is a way to share more than music. I also present live the history about the Minnesota music scene during the time of these songs. I spend time at the Minnesota History Center researching popular movies and musical acts premiering in Minnesota during the various years that the songs I have chosen were released. I continue to develop my script between songs in which we time travel and take the street car downtown to the Orpheum, the Marigold Ballroom or over to the Curtis Hotel to see a recent released film or listen to the sounds of a music group. These shared memories are another layer of accessing forgotten places and times stored deep within where music and pure images live.
Music and and lyrics are a key to communication with people who are struggling with memory loss issues. And we all agree music itself is healing. With Music Memory Live what I am trying to initiate is yet another application of the healing properties of music. To play these songs is a privilege. To play for my elders is my delight!
This website has audio clips and video of my live show when performed at a minneapolis night club. http://www.katelynch.namewww.katelynch.name/photos-and-video
Further information that illustrates music and memory connections: http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/12/music-and-memory-5-awesome-new-psychology-studies.phphttp://musicandmemory.org
Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows would love to come to your community to play for the people that love this music most! www.katelynch.name