Xu & Oberlin - Retrograde Amnesia

xu & oberlin - retrograde amnesia - cover

Press Release:

The record delves into the haunting history of the former psychiatric hospital in Colorno (Parma - Italy, in use from 1873 to 1978). Titled "Retrograde Amnesia", it explores the lives of patients who were once confined to the institution, many of whom were forgotten by society. The hospital, which is now abandoned, was once home to over a thousand patients, including those who were deemed "dangerous" or "marginalized" by society. Among them were prostitutes, alcoholics, vagabonds, and even small children. The psychiatrists who worked at the institution were free to experiment with new treatments, including practices such as electroshock and frontal lobotomy. While these doctors saw themselves as innovators and experimenters, many of the patients were no longer considered people.One of the devastating consequences of the treatments administered at the hospital was retrograde amnesia, which is the loss of memories of past events. Many patients who underwent these treatments were left with gaps in their memory, unable to recall important moments of their lives, as their identities were fragmented and their shared human experiences obliterated. Forgotten by society and stripped of their own sense of self, they were consigned to the shadows of history. "Retrograde Amnesia" is a haunting and emotional record that aims to shed light on the lives of these forgotten patients. Through the use of ambient soundscapes and atmospheric textures, the music captures the sense of isolation and despair that many of the patients must have felt. Enveloped in the echoes of empty corridors and abandoned rooms, one easily feels consumed by the weight of the lives that once occupied these desolate spaces.