The Reason I Jump Continues

Today, we continue our series highlighting the beautiful orchestral work “Excerpts From the Reason I Jump”, featuring 26-year-old autistic cellist Adam Mandela Walden. The piece reflects what it’s like living with autism. This is the second movement performed by Adam Mandela Walden and Berklee World Strings, conducted by Dr. Eugene Friesen, featuring narrator Connor Valcy.

“Excerpts from The Reason I Jump,” Mvt. 2, “The Black Crow and the White Dove,” composed by Dr. Eugene Friesen, Professor of Music and Director of Berklee World Strings with cello melodies by Adam Mandela Walden, cellist and Berklee College of Music student. Words by Naoki Higashida. Inspired by author Naoki Higashida’s book: The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

Thank you to Rosanne Walden and to the students of Berklee College of Music’s Production and Engineering: Orchestral Recording. Recorded at Berklee College of Music, Shames Scoring Stage.

This Daily Joy performance is part of From the Top’s Musicians with Disabilities Special Initiative. This Spring, From the Top is spotlighting young disabled and/or neurodivergent musicians who share their talents and tell their stories in their own words.


“By highlighting the creativity and passion of young people, Daily Joy offers real hope for the future and reminds us that great art is still being made all around the country.”


Music has the unique ability to bring joy to our lives – especially in the hands of young people. Daily Joy is a reminder of music’s power to uplift, inspire, and unite.

Daily Joy is a project of From the Top. It began in the very early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and continues today to offer a much-needed respite from the anxiety and worry that we encounter in the world.

From the Top is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the stories and artistry of young musicians through media and leadership programs. Learn more.

From the Top is grateful to the Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation for their generous support of Daily Joy.

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