GWYTHIAN, Cornwall, UK: Kyle Coleman, 25, released his first album earlier this year after spending most of his life unable to say more than a few words. Kyle was found to have perfect pitch and a lovely singing voice after attending music therapy lessons.
Kyle performed at the Holifield Festival – which raises funds for a day care centre for people with special needs – in Gweek on August 4.
Kyle Coleman and Friends formed especially to perform as a one off at the festival and the band included Eddie Callis, who is also a talented musician with autism. The rest of the band was formed by Eddie's uncle Joe Callis, a former member of the Eighties' band Human League, Eddie's mum Jacqui, her partner Tony and their friend Wendy, who played mandolin and violin.
Kyle's mum Caroline said the performance showed that people with autism could go beyond the limitations of the disability.
She said: "They played some new stuff and some old stuff from Kyle's album and it went really well. It was a festival where people knew that it was to support people with disabilities. They were really open and people were moved by what they achieved."
Kyle became the first non-verbal autistic person to release an album in April this year when his album, Therefore I Am, hit the shelves to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). It has sold copies worldwide, in addition to receiving local and global media coverage and radio play.
Since then, Kyle has been offered a record deal by a US company specialising in autistic artists, which they are still considering.
Music has already opened a lot of doors for Kyle. He is now a member of Apex in Redruth, an arts participation and expression group for adults with learning disabilities and autism.
Caroline said Kyle and Eddie were now aiming to move from Kyle and Friends to form their own band called Aut -2.
She said: "This renaming of the band was a direct result of the special friendship that Kyle and Eddie have, and their combined love and passion for music and song. Our vision is to create a musical duo where these two talented autistic individuals, supported by a circle of trust from family members and friends, can show that people with autism have a valued place in the music industry and that autism is merely a label."
Kyle has also released a music video for his debut single, Just Listen. This can be viewed at: www.kylecoleman.co.uk
(Source: ThisisCornwall.co.uk, August 9, 2012)