Art song initiative commissions texts by children with autism

Art song initiative commissions texts by children with autism

Megan Moore Caitleen Kahn Florence Mak

Lynx Project, an art song initiative, is thrilled to announce their 2017 Autism Advocacy Project. A team of five composers, Joel David Balzun, Emily Cooley, Juliana Hall, Aristéa Mellos, and Travis Reynolds, will set the words of four young men to music. What makes this collaboration unique is that these writers, between ages 12-17, have autism and are primarily non-verbal.

Rahul, Rithik, Sameer, and Ryan, Lynx Project’s team of writers, use letter-boarding, also known as RPM (Rapid Prompting Method), as their method of communication. Supported by constant prompting, they point to letters on a board to spell out their thoughts.

Hearing Ryan describe his greatest dream moved the Lynx team to find a way to use art song to elevate his voice and others like his. “I want to see the world not by the whole, but by the all too beautiful small things.” - Ryan, age 17.

These words were the inspiration for Lynx Project’s Autism Advocacy Project. This endeavor seeks to bring the words of individuals with autism - an often overlooked and misunderstood demographic - to life, and to bring art song to new audiences. The texts shed light on the joys, dreams, struggles, and triumphs of children with autism.

Caitleen Kahn, co-director of Lynx Project, describes the Autism Advocacy Project as an exercise in active and purposeful listening, “These songs will help us look more compassionately and completely at people with perceived disabilities, and remind us how thoughtful and deep children can be when we take the time to listen to them. Everyone deserves to be truly heard.”

Lynx Project has until December 10th to raise the $10,000 that will go towards bringing these songs to life in fall of 2017. Lynx Project invites you to join them in creating a platform for Every Voice. Don’t let these voices go unheard - make a tax deductible donation today.

Click here to learn more about Lynx Project’s campaign.



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