Harmonic Spectrum is a touching Scottish documentary by Austen McCowan and Will Hewitt of Melt the Fly about Sean, an exceptionally talented jazz pianist with autism who learns a lot about himself within the world around him through the music he plays.
Music for me is like a mirror reflection of my internal dialogue. I find that what comes out of my music tells me more about myself than I could guess. Because when I wake up in the morning, and I sit at my piano, what I play dictates what my mood is.
Throughout the documentary, Sean deals with public performances, forming a partnership with another person, the challenges of COVID, and learning to compromise. In the end, Sean acknowledges all that he’s learned and that for which he is grateful.
The idea of needing extra help, I found, was not very easy to take on the chin because I didn’t want to feel lesser than. And I am extremely grateful for the people that have put the time in, even when I fought against their efforts to help and support me and nurture me.
He understands that he’s different from others but also realizes that it’s up to him to reach his own goals.
You got like a diagnosis that you have a neurological difference. For some, it’s exceptionally debilitating. Others can use it to work to their advantage and live quite a fulfilled existence. But you’ve got to put the effort to do that. You’ve got to know, …So whatever it is that makes you happy, do it. And don’t ever try and compare your journey to somebody else’s because it just does not work like that.