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"He’s put on some very hard miles. He’s suffered from multiple compression fractures.... He's dealing with failing infrastructure and subsequent pain and discomfort," Adam Cohen said of his poet-singer-songwriter father. For "You Want It Darker," his final album, which Adam produced, he turned his Los Angeles house into a makeshift recording studio and bought an orthopedic medical chair to rest in while he sang. Cohen gave his son careful instructions before every studio session, where a dozen musicians provided the accompaniment to his vocals, and he reserved the right to approve or disapprove the results. "At times I was very worried about his health, and the only thing that buoyed his spirits was the work itself," Adam reported. "This whole process, we were riding some mysterious wind, as my father calls it. The standard amount of deliberation that goes into making a record was mercifully light.... I say that knowing full well that my father was in acute discomfort. But that, too, benefited the album, in the sense of urgency that informed the whole process. The immobilized condition that he found in himself led to a giant decrease in distractions.... There were also moments of joy, where an infirm old man would stand up with his cane and dance in front of the speakers. And there were bouts of laughter when we would listen to a song over and over again as if we were teenagers." But Cohen felt his age. “The big change is the proximity to death. I am a tidy kind of guy. I like to tie up the strings if I can. If I can’t, also, that’s O.K. But my natural thrust is to finish things that I’ve begun.... There’s the element of time, which is powerful, with its incentive to finish up. Now I haven’t gotten near finishing up. I’ve finished up a few things. I don’t know how many other things I’ll be able to get to, because at this particular stage I experience deep fatigue. . . . There are times when I just have to lie down. I can’t play anymore, and my back goes fast also. ... Maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.” The album was released on 21 October 2016. Leonard Cohen died on 7 November.
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