Alzheimer’s Unleashing Art

Listen to this post: 

Talking about life with Alzheimer’s Disease is not easy. I do not want to trivialize anyone’s experiences or make it seem like I know some truths–positive or negative–about them. So rather than write about what it means to live with Alzheimer’s, let me just please introduce a couple of people to you who have a similar experience: Developing Alzheimer’s unleashed an artistic side in them. And as the disease progressed, their art changed too.

Here is a short documentary about the painter Lester Potts.

But Lester isn’t someone I know.

If you’ve been reading this post, it’s time to hit the link above to listen. After my voice reading these words is a 20 minute musical improvisation on the piano.

It’s a recording I made not long ago of a friend of a friend. Linda Dalal Sawaya introduced me to her friend, Bruno. According to Linda, he started playing before he was diagnosed: he just sat at the piano and began to play simply but beautifully. His playing has become more complex, rich and detailed as the Alzheimer’s progressed. Please enjoy this audio recording of Bruno improvising music on the spot. Deep thanks to Linda and Bruno for allowing me to share this music here.