“I wanted to create a world that made the listener feel like they were floating,” says Tim Mislock. “But I didn’t want it to feel like floating in an unnatural or forced environment – like a sensory deprivation tank – I wanted it to feel like you were in a boundless, organic space like a lake or an ocean.”
This feeling of elemental immersion that Mislock has created is on his debut solo album, Now is the Last Best Time, a guitar-centric ambient record inspired by the Alzheimer’s caretaker experience. Throughout the last decade, Mislock has watched his stepfather deteriorate at the hands of the disease while his mother fulfils the role of caregiver – her love, dedication and energy required evermore as time goes on. The purpose of the concept record was twofold.
“I wanted to raise awareness of the disease,” Mislock says. “The numbers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is growing with each generation. As the parents of those in my generation grow older, Alzheimer’s disease will affect more and more families. I also wanted to develop a historical document to thank my mother and tell her that her generosity and kindness have not gone unnoticed.”
While the album is vastly influenced by the stalwarts of the ambient world – Eno, Stars of the Lid, Eluvium – and some more modern minimalist composers such as Max Richter and Jonny Greenwood, there’s one particular piece of music that connected deeply with Mislock during the process.
“The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars was a huge influence because it deals with such a tragic event but, musically, it creates an emotional world that is somehow grounded in respect and reverence for the event itself. I wanted to borrow from that idea, since Alzheimer’s impacts so many people. I wanted to be respectful to their struggles and emotions.” Ultimately, the record is a sonic exploration of respect that pays homage to his greatest influence: his mother.
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