Famed autistic savant and blind musical genius Derek Paravicini is a quite remarkable and inspiring human being. He has been featured on various documentaries including the fantastic Channel 5 series Extraordinary People, a PBS NOVA episode with legendary neuroscientist and music researcher Oliver Sacks, and also been the focus of a fantastic book, In The Key of Genius, written by his mentor Dr. Adam Ockelford.
Basically, Derek is severely mentally deficient in various ways, but also happens to be an astounding musical genius. He can hear a piece of music one time and replicate it instantly, even varying playing styles on command. Through his unique physiological background as a musical savant and the support of people like Dr. Ockelford, Derek has managed to generate a loving fan base through the internet and various concert appearances. Plus, his favourite music is jazz and he loves Miles Davis and Oscar Peterson, so you know we are big fans here at The Find Mag.
Derek has been a massive inspiration for many due to his prodigious talents and charisma in the face of adversity. Indeed, he has even played a part in my life by motivating me to pursue a career in neuroscience and biology. People like Mr. Paravicini are a rare breed, and there is much still to be studied about savant syndrome and autism. If you are intrigued about these phenomena, I urge you to take some time and watch some documentaries or delve into research by the likes of Simon Baron-Cohen, Vilayanur Ramachandran, and many more.
In Derek’s latest video, he fulfills a fan request and busts out a massive solo cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. Be sure to check out some of the documentaries that feature Derek and his YouTube channel for a heavy dose of inspiration.