Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blind Talent

As you probably know by now, I am a fan of great talent and I have run across a person with some amazing talent. He is a blind, but brilliantly talented savant named Derek Paravicini. At thirty years old, his conventional communication skills are extremely limited, but. his ability to communicate with the piano, is simply astounding. In addition to an incredible ability with the piano, Paravicini has what seems to be a computerized type of memory of a wide variety of songs across all musical spectrums.

Paravicini can instantly play, upon request, any song that he's heard in his life, and able to do so in any style requested.

Basic non-musical requests, however, such as showing a requested number of fingers, are well beyond his ability, it seems. When an interviewer asked him if he can raise three fingers, Paravicini was clearly confused and lost.

Paravicini's stunning piano ability contrasted with his severely limited functional and cognitive abilities in everyday life make him a rare and gifted talent.

While often romanticized in film and popular culture, savant syndrome, unfortunately, does not involve ability as comparable to Paravicini's. While savants often do demonstrate some subtle characteristics that hint at great abilities, almost never are the special abilities as pronounced as those exhibited by Paravicini.

The Savant Academy, which is dedicated to helping people with Savant Syndrome, says that there are likely about fifty savants in the world with incredible abilities.

I put a clip of a 60-minutes interview of Derek so you can get a taste and appreciation of this talent.

This Thursday I am posting a start of an important
discussion of Sharia Law. It will be up at least for Thursday and Friday. I hope you don't miss it as I am sure many of you will have some good comments on the subject.

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