Ockelford says it is remarkable how Derek senses where the notes are. He seems to know instinctively where the keys are. Derek, who lives in Lambourn in Berkshire, has performed at numerous charity events, and a professional career now beckons. But the issue now is: does he become a full-time professional musician? At the moment he can pick and choose what he wants to do, which is great. But if he's going to earn his living full-time, he won't be able to.
In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini - Adam Ockelford - Google книги
And although he seems fairly robust, he's quite sensitive and finds new things quite tricky. He'd need someone there with him all the time. Ockelford says Derek's family are wary of putting him under too much pressure: "Like me, they're nervous of him being exploited.
There's a danger he'd become a bit of a performing monkey. In a world that celebrates Big Brother, it seems there are no bounds to decency or decorum, so we have to be careful. Someone said, 'Couldn't Derek go on one of these shows? There's a danger he'd be forced to look silly in order to make his abilities seem more extraordinary. Derek does early jazz very well, but people might try to push him into things where he's less good.
He can't really play like a serious classical pianist because he likes improvising too much. Ockelford doesn't want to encourage the sort of frenzy that developed around the Australian pianist David Helfgott in the wake of Shine, the Oscar-winning film of his troubled life. If people hear about him because he's a blind pianist with learning difficulties, that's fine; but hopefully, the actual music he plays is enjoyable anyway.
Derek was called a "human iPod" on a recent visit to the US, but Ockelford resists that limiting description. If they are playing simply and quietly, he'll pick up on that. He shows real sensitivity. Derek spends most of his time at an RNIB college in Redhill, where he gets round-the-clock supervision and specialist education. His parents separated when he was four, and his mother, Mary Ann, remarried.
She is splendidly matter-of-fact, accepting Derek on his own terms. Music keeps him happy for hours on end. Giving concerts introduces him to endless people and he remembers them all. People love meeting him. Like Ockelford, she recognises the dangers of a fully fledged commercial career. When he's happy, he plays happy. I couldn't bear it if he was being exploited by promoters. He is so natural, and I'd hate to ruin it by forcing him into the recording studio.
In The Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini
Derek Paravicini. By Darold Treffert, MD Once or twice a century there comes along a savant who is a giant among other musical savants who demonstrate the remarkable triad of blindness, musical genius and mental handicap.
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