Everywhere at the End of Time: A Forgotten Internet Gem

Isn’t it ironic that a beautiful piece detailing the progression of dementia was forgotten by the internet? I think it’s about time we change that.


Austyn Mizgorski, Author

I: Introduction


September 22nd, 2016. The first part of an over six-hour long audio experience was released to the world, entitled Everywhere at the End of Time. Consisting of six “stages,” the album was created by a man named Leyland Kirby, going by the title of “The Caretaker.” The classical music mixed with distorted effects pierces your brain and ropes you into the narrative of the album as you place yourself within the shoes of an individual suffering from dementia. Each stage shows the progression of the inevitably fatal amnesia, with the last few minutes of silence signifying the person’s death. It’s a stunning narrative, and it upsets me that not enough people have listened to it. Despite its length, it’s an immersive story that you can easily get lost in, and its portrayal of dementia is hauntingly beautiful.

II: How do students at HHS view EatEoT?


Seeing how Everywhere at the End of Time managed to expand my knowledge and understanding of dementia, I wanted to get an idea as to what my peers knew about it. More or less as a comparison, I suppose. I discussed the album with a few of my friends who’ve listened to the whole six-and-a-half hours, and a general consensus that I received from our conversation was that EatEoT was extremely well received. Albeit somber, even causing some to cry, a lot of people agreed that it was a great experience. As I was discussing the album with my friend, Mae Fedell ‘24, she joked that she “cried after the first five minutes.” I’m not one to cry often, and yet during both times that I listened to the album, I cried 2/2 of those times. The album, in a sense, makes you feel vulnerable, which some say is the reason it makes people cry. It places you in the role of a spectator, watching the plaque within someone’s brain spread, and you can’t even help them. It’s inevitable.


III: The Science Behind EatEoT


There’s been a lot of examples of mental illness being portrayed in the media as of late. While there is thought and research put into such things, sadly, most of them don’t meet the cut. It’s portrayed as something to be feared, to be hated, and that can teach people that those who are suffering from these ailments are terrible people. Even if it was released five years ago, it’s surge of sudden popularity has brought its portrayal of dementia into a new, well deserved light. To understand how much good this perspective on dementia has brought, let’s first get a general understanding as to what dementia actually is.


According to the National Institute on Aging, a branch of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, “dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, and reasoning — to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.” Such symptoms stem from a buildup of plaque within one’s brain. Commonly, we see dementia depicted as the deterioration of memory, forgetting names and faces and the like. EatEoT stands out amongst other forms of media trying to showcase this serious disease, as instead of introducing us to someone with the disease, we’re placed into the shoes of someone who actually has it. In a sense, the album is making it feel as if we have dementia. It’s skillfully displayed throughout the full six-and-a-half hour experience, as throughout the whole runtime, we hear leitmotifs becoming more and more distorting, signifying our inability to hold onto melodies of the past. We get to see the progression first hand, forced to watch as it gets worse and worse until eventually, as the last few minutes of silence suggests, it kills the person.


A normal brain in comparison to that of one with severe Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia. (Image taken from an University of Queensland report.)

IV: Fan Speculation of EatEoT

The revival of EatEoT’s popularity brings in its own share of fun details, mainly regarding fan theories created by those who’ve listened to the album. It’s worth looking into the project itself for these theories alone, seeing how they chose to interpret Kirby’s work. I chose to list two of my favorite theories here, hoping that these would inspire you into checking out the work in question.


IV-I: “Caretaker is Dead Theory”


The first of these theories, dubbed by fans as the “Caretaker is Dead Theory,” is pretty self explanatory. EatEoT is the last piece of work that Kirby created under the “Caretaker” title, which has led fans to believe that the Caretaker is the one we’re following. Kirby even stated that he “gave the project dementia,” making it safe to assume that the end of EatEoT parallels the end of the Caretaker.


IV-II: “Lost Love Theory”


In regards to the second theory, a fan favorite of the community, it’s so lovingly dubbed the “Lost Love Theory.” The theory got its basis from the first song on the album, A1 – It’s just a burning memory. The title of the song comes from the song Heartaches by one Al Bowlly, in which, he sings “your kiss was such a sacred thing to me, I can’t believe it’s just a burning memory.” Many believe that the “Lost Love Theory” coincides with the previously mentioned “Caretaker is Dead Theory” implying that the Caretaker perhaps has (or had) a lover at some point. It’s just that, however; a theory. It’s all up to speculation, which makes the audio experience so much more immersive.


V: Conclusion


As we’ve past the five year anniversary of Everywhere at the End of Time, it’s worth looking over the album again to realize what a beautiful gift we’ve been given by Mr. Leyland Kirby. A distorted soap opera of one’s disturbed brain with hauntingly stunning sound design, this sound experience feels as if you’re dreaming. It’s a shame, however, that not many people are aware of this beauty. Left unseen by the public eye, barely popping up every now and then, it’s about time that we give Kirby’s longest work the recognition and praise that it deserves.