Loudly & Weirdly: Cellist Shares Autism Experience with Music

Loudly & Weirdly: Cellist Shares Autism Experience with Music


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 third movement “Loudly & Weirdly,” performed by Adam Mandela Walden and Berklee World Strings, conducted by Dr. Eugene Friesen.

“I am a citizen of the autism world. I liked creating a piece for the orchestra that told what it was like living in my world, using my only fluent language – music, and the words of my fellow traveler in autism, author Naoki Higashida.” – Adam Mandela Walden

26-year-old cellist Adam Mandela Walden shared some of his experiences with autism on From the Top’s Musicians with Disabilities Special. He has been working with Berklee College of Music’s Dr. Eugene Friesen on a special orchestral piece. Inspired by author Naoki Higashida’s book: The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism, the piece brings together Higashida’s words with music in a powerful way. We are thrilled to feature movements from this exciting work over the next few weeks.

“Excerpts from The Reason I Jump,” Mvt. 3: “Loudly & Weirdly,” 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.

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.