Tuesday 4 August 2020

Music and mental health: release of Benjamin Fitzgerald's Ambedo

Benjamin Fitzgerald
Benjamin Fitzgerald
, a debut EP from composer Benjamin Fitzgerald was released at the weekend, following the release of a single from the EP, Ode to John, earlier this year. The three tracks on the EP, Ode to John, Kuebiko, and Ambedo are all part of a project looking at music and mental health, and in them Fitzgerald uses music to represent the symptoms of dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. When Ode to John was released, Fitzgerald explained the work was inspired by his grandfather's suffering from dementia.

Ftizgerald is from the North East, and he studied at Newcastle University. The music on Ambedo was created through the New Creatives commission scheme supported by Tyneside Cinema, BBC arts and Arts Council England. You can hear Fitzgerald talking about music and mental health on BBC Sounds.

Fitzgerald describes his style as incorporating an eclectic mix of transcendent strings, surrealism and a plethora of inspirations spanning modern jazz through electronica. He is currently undertaking a Summer residency at Sage Gateshead, where he is working with animator Jackson Nash on a film based on music he wrote for a commission funded by BBC/Tyneside Cinema.

Benjamin Fitzgerald - Ambedo
Benjamin Fitzgerald's Ambedo is available on Spotify.

Ambedo - A kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details-raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee.

Kuebiko – A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence, which force you to revise your image of what can happen in this world – mending the fences of your expectation, weeding out all unwelcome and invasive truths, cultivating the perennial good that’s buried under the surface, and propping yourself up like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams but powerless to do anything but stand there and watch.

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