16 August 2008

The Musical Genius -- Unburdened by Blindness and Autism

Derek Paravicini is blind and autistic.
He is severely disabled yet he can play and remember any tune he hears.

Derek, now in his mid twenties, was born premature, at 25 weeks, and weighing just over half a kilogram. As a result of the oxygen therapy required to save his life, Derek lost his sight, and his development was affected too.

It later became apparent that he had severe learning difficulties. However, he soon acquired a fascination for music and sound, and, by the age of four, had taught himself to play a large number of pieces on the piano, of some melodic and harmonic complexity.

While he cannot see and cannot make much sense of life and things around him, when he sits down at a piano he is simply in command as a virtuoso, playing at the highest possible levels as a pianist. To watch him play is simply breathtaking and totally awe-inspiring.

Here is a 5-part documentary on Derek that will make you sigh... cry... and believe that there is a God.