• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 6 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 56

Topic: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

  1. #1

    OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    This is a bit OT, but I think it's still relevant to composition and orchestration.

    Did anyone happen to catch the 60 Minutes segment on Jay Greenberg? Here's a 12 year old kid who is writing symphonies by ear!!!

    I thought it was pretty amazing, looked like he was using Finale or Sibelius to literally type out what he heard in his head.

    I was pretty blown away by this kid, I mean they didn't play a whole lot of his music, but the bits I heard sounded good.

    You can catch some info here:


    I was wondering if anyone else saw the segments and what your thoughts are about this kid?

    I have my own philosophy of what makes out brains tick and come up with ideas, but I would be interested in other people's perspectives.
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    He looks kind of like Harry Potter, don't you think?

    So he has already written four full-length symphonies... Amazing!

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    Kays, I saw this and was likewise totally amazed! Looks like he came pre-programmed to me...drawing pictures of notes, instruments, etc. shortly after he started to walk?? This kind of thing gets me speculating about things far beyond what science will likely be able explain in the near future. And how about the description of his ability to "multi-channel" - wasn't that something like having to sort out having more than one major idea coming in at a time? Gee, the poor guy basically has to triage on his ideas for a symphony because of computer limitations! Not something I can relate to...still hunting for ONE good idea!

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    Yeah, I caught that, and it was pretty incredible. The only thing is his music, or what we could make out of it, sounds pretty old! I'd be really interested to hear what he'll write when he moves on to 21st century instrumental writing. One other thing I thought of is that I hope he doesn't eventually suffer from some kind of mental/chemical disorder. Unfortunately, I seem to read/hear of adults with disorders who used to be/are geniuses...

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?


    I had taped the segment, but when I watched it the tape ran out just as Samuel Adler was making his comments.

    I'd like to see a full hour program about the kid. His prof was comparing him with the youthful Mendelsohn and Mozart. I found it amazing that he composed so quickly. The orchestra rendering sounded good, but I would reserve judgment until I heard more of the piece.

    I found it totally mind-blowing when the kid (who is a student of piano) took a piece of music and turned it upside down and proceeded to play through it, upside down and backward!

    Would have been interesting to hear Adler's comments. I believe they were going to be that the kid ( who says he never strikes a line when composing) could benefit from self criticism and maybe the positive critique of others.

    Anyway- quite thought provoking television.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    I didn't see the show. Very interesting and amazing And yes, he does remind of Harry Potter

    I saw another documentary of a 30 year old man who had autism - years ago. An autistic man could immediately replay anything he heard from the radio on his piano, not missing a singel note or chord alteration from the original. The guys who did the show asked a composer to compose a piece for piano, a new composition that the mentally handicapped man impossibly could have heard before; a composition that used rich coloring and chord structures but did not require a master fingering technique. The composer played the piece down on tape himself and this tape was then played back to the autist man. He listened for 8 minutes and then immediately sat down at the piano and nailed an 8 minute long piece . After that, he immediately left the piano without waiting for any response from the surrounding people .. heading for the kitchen to feed a sudden need for cookies

    Having good abilities is one thing, but this kid Greenberg also seems to be able to use his abilities musically too. Not everybody with amazing abilities does can do that. Our opinions and expressions of what we see, hear, think and feel everyday is often colored by how many subtle details we perceive, and children usually doesn't see things in shades of grey and in small spices of different nuances - like all the subtle nuances of taste and aroma in a good wine. To them it's more black and white, which with time gets more detailed and more subtle spices of things gets learned and experienced from everyday life as age grows. That sort of quite narrow black and white thing is usually present in young people's compositions as well. They may have good technique, but they don't always know what to say, or have a good and rich story to tell, using that technique. I would be very interested to hear Greenberg's compositions, to hear what he has to say through music.

    I just hope Greenberg doesn't get caught into some kind of niche that prevents him from living a good life as an adult. Anybody needs a good and harmonical life to be able to produce something of value to both themselves and others.

    EDIT: Found a piece online by Jay, available at http://www.fromthetop.org/radio/performers.cfm?pid=1586 (realmedia)
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    Yeah I saw that. I hope someone records his symphonies. I'd like to hear them.

    It was pretty amazing how fast he was inputing notes. Was that Sibelius or Finale? He obviously has very good hand eye coordination for inputting notes, and yet he totally sucked at playing catch. I wonder how that happens...
    Anthony Lombardi, composer

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    I didn't see the show, but I did read the article. How intense it must be to be inside that kid's head!

    He's not autistic at all. He seems more like a Nikola Tesla -- gifted far beyond the natural range, at almost a mystical level. It will be interesting to see as he matures if his instrumental skills are of similar power, or if his compositional skills would be marginalized in some way if he spend too much time at the piano.
    Some experts learn more and more about less and less, until at last they know everything there is about nothing at all.

  9. #9

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Did anyone catch 60 Minutes?

    Poor Andre, died a nobody

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 6 1234 ... LastLast


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts