Coleman, Lloyd - The deaf composer
Type of Spiritual Experience
He may be deaf like Beethoven but he can still listen to the music of the universe
A description of the experience
From Mail Online “Roll over Beethoven: Deaf composer Lloyd Coleman is taking the world of classical music by storm” - By Amanda Cable [I have edited this to shorten it]
Just imagine. Your son is born not only deaf but partially sighted. Obviously, you're heartbroken. You just hope that somehow, with your help, he'll have a decent life, that his handicaps will not be insurmountable. Seventeen years go by, and not only has your son managed to live a full and enriched life, he's being hailed as a modern-day Beethoven - a performer and composer of exquisite classical music and an accomplished conductor, too. Surely this must be fiction. But no, this is how life, so far, has panned out for Julie Coleman's son, Lloyd. ………..
Lloyd was born in May 1992 …... It was ..when he was four that he was diagnosed as almost completely deaf.
'But by the time Lloyd was 12 he had reached grade eight [on the piano] with distinction, and his teacher said she had taught him all she knew. He took up the clarinet at the age of ten and within just three years he again passed grade eight with distinction.' … Lloyd also composed. He kept notebooks in his pocket and would scribble down the 'constant' music that came into his head.
'The music just came to me like a tap that wouldn't switch off,' he says. 'I noticed, in the school orchestra, that I could hear music far more clearly than I could hear anything else. The wonderful sound of the flute and the tuba, in particular, seemed to cut right through my deafness.'
'Most deaf people are able to lip read, and many blind people develop a keen sense of hearing, but Lloyd has nothing to fall back on. His idea of a nightmare is lunchtime at school, when everyone is sitting down to eat, because there is a hum of voices and movement, and he can't actually hear a word of what is said to him.
'One of my heroes has to be Beethoven, because he composed some of the greatest music ever without being able to hear. 'It is said that when he stood on the podium conducting orchestras, he would have to be turned around to see the audience applauding, because he couldn't hear them.
Lloyd is now head boy at Chetham's, and is composing for professional orchestras and music groups across the country. A member of the National Youth Orchestra, he has been offered a coveted place to study music at Oxford University.