Mon, Jan 6, 2014.
Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Christina Martin has begun releasing a series of new songs for a special project, and quite a different one from most albums or E.P.s All this month, she's putting out a new song a week on her website, free for streaming and download. It's a collection called Remember Me: Songs and Stories Relating to Dementia, and marks January as Alzheimer Awareness Month.
The project goes back to 2011-2012, when Martin spent time with Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, of the Dalhousie Geriatric Medical Research and the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network in Halifax. The idea was for Martin to be an artist-in-residence, where she would pick up knowledge and first-person stories, and use that insight for new songs. The result was this group of five songs, which sees each one paired with the story of a Nova Scotia person affected by dementia.
The first one is the title song, Remember Me. Martin says this song, like the others to come, "were inspired by a collection of observations and research, after spending many months researching, and then visiting Dr. Rockwoods memory clinic, attending workshops and support groups for caregivers." Along with the song is the story of Iona Darragh, a Nova Scotia woman in assisted living, vibrant and shining with a life full of experiences. On Martin's website, you can read her story, as told by her daughter, and hear Martin's positive ballad, from her meetings with Darragh.
To hear Christina Martin's Remember Me songs, and to read about the partnership and programs of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, visit http://www.christinamartin.net/category/rememberme/
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).