This is a video presentation that went along with the world premiere of "Solving Puzzles in the Dark" - It was written for Autism awareness month (April) The symbol for Autism is a multicolored puzzle piece hence the reference in the title.
The band performing the piece is the Jasper HS wind ensemble in Plano Texas.(apologies at the beginning the vocal track overpowers the band so I added what the band is suppose to play via midi the vast majority of the piece is live)
This has been on my mind to write for the last four years. Both of our boys are on the Spectrum and are both a challenge and absolute joy of our lives.
The piece depicts the joy, the sorry, and the hope of living and caring someone with Autism. Opening in a plaintive mournful fashion the works explores the step by step manner in not only education, but also the everyday life skills we all take for granted. One of the symbols for Autism is a ribbon comprised of multicolored puzzle pieces, hence the title and reference.
Dedicated to those who live, love, and care for someone with Autism and other spectrum disorders. In writing this I wanted to touch on a couple of facets. One is the day when you realize that the child you thought you brought into this world is not the child that you have, and secondly (and more positively) is that no matter what, you would not change them for anything and that you love them just as they are.
The vocal track at the beginning and the end "I don't understand.... Do you understand me?" is in reference to both the parent trying to understand the child and the child struggling with getting the world to understand them. I took advantage of where I was because we have a multitude of cultures and languages from which to draw from. I also wanted to involve my students in this aspect because of the tie to education and learning that they represent. If I had thought about it sooner I would have involved more of my students in this aspect.
Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoyed viewing the video. If you enjoyed the video please share, and feel free to visit my websites for more information on this piece, Autism and my music in general.