Saturday 17 April 2021
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.theguardian - 2 month ago

Rian Treanor: the producer hacking a smarter, kinder future for music

The Rotherham electronic musician is using his skills to tackle dementia, teach children and collaborate across the globe – and dreams of a club where the dancers play the drum machinesLiving in lockdown while caring for someone with dementia “isn’t just like Groundhog Day”, chuckles Rian Treanor, “it’s like Groundhog Second.” The soft-spoken electronic music producer has spent a year indoors with three generations of his family – including his producer and sound-artist dad, Mark Fell, and his grandmother, Doreen, who is has late-stage Alzheimer’s. It’s certainly a change of scene for the producer of one of 2020’s most audacious and frenzied dance albums, File Under UK Metaplasm.Instead of the pointillist rave and singeli – a high-speed Tanzanian style – that influenced that record, the Treanor-Fell household playlist is geared towards Doreen’s favourites, particularly dub reggae and Hawaiian-style steel guitar. “When she listens to that she’s completely in the zone, she astrally projects into it,” marvels Treanor. Music has a powerful effect on brains damaged by dementia, unlocking memories and opening up non-verbal channels of communication, so they tried Doreen on a piano next, knowing that she’d grown up with one. When the keys proved too complicated, Fell designed a set of blocks for her to use, described by Treanor as “squares with little notches cut out that create different chord shapes”. Continue reading...


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