The Lynx Project: Behind the Scenes

What it is like from the side of the composer


McDaniel's Photography

BEAUTIFUL WORDS. Poems written by youth in the Cincinnati area were composed and performed on Sat., March 2 at SHS. The Lynx Project’s Autism Advocacy Project was behind the event.

The Lynx Project, as apart of their Autism Advocacy Project, performed at SHS on Saturday, March 2.

Part of the event was performer and composer Stephen Variames, who composed and performed a poem written by a youth in the Cincinnati area with Autism.

Variames received the poem he was to work with back in May. The process of composing for this project has been lengthy.

As a composer for The Lynx Project, Variames is given the poetry. His job is to take that poem and write music for it. Variames composes music but has never done anything like this.

“This is the first time I have done anything like this, which it has been a very, very special experience,” Variames said.

One thing the composers for this event have to consider is auditory and sensory aspects. Individuals with Autism attend the event, who can be sensitive to auditory or sensory sensations. 

Due to these sensory concerns, the only instrument utilized throughout the event was piano.

When working for The Lynx Project or another assignment, the process behind the piece tends to be similar.

“I like to sit down before I write a single note and just kind of analyze everything… [I like to write] three or four emotion words from there and then gain a melody that I’d like to use for the whole thing,” Variames said. “So that’s exactly what I did for this but kept everything a little more mainstream sound…”

The Lynx Project is a unique thing to be involved in, so Variames had to change his approach when composing.

“The approach to the music is very different. As a composer, we are always trying to expand what we do and challenge ourselves, but this time is really just to write beautiful music to beautiful words,” Variames said. “The poems were… so powerful and honest. It was great to go back to those basics and utilize that.”

To learn more about the performance that took place at SHS click here, and to take a peek into one of the lives of a student who wrote a poem that was composed into a song, click here.