The Sunday Magazine

How a Canadian artist captured the vision of a blind piano prodigy

Artist Tony Luciani’s challenge was to make visual the vibrant world of someone who cannot see. He did just that in his painting of a boy giant that’s on the cover of Ethan Loch’s new CD. Alisa Siegel's documentary is called "Inside My Head."
A detail of Tony Luciani's 'The Haunted Tower.' (Tony Luciani/Courtesy of Loch Gallery)

The request came out of the blue, in a phone call from his art dealer.

Could he create a painting drawn from the imagination of a 13-year-old, blind piano prodigy? Could he make visual the vibrant world of someone who can't see?

The artist was Tony Luciani, of Durham, Ontario. The boy — Ethan Loch — was the art dealer's nephew. Ethan has been completely blind since birth. He lives in Bonnybridge, Scotland.

Pianist Ethan Loch released his first album 'Mysterious Pathways,' this fall. (Submitted by Ethan Loch)

At 18 months, he began to play the family piano. Lessons started at age four, the same year he learned to speak. A short time later, he began to compose.

Loch is being hailed as a piano virtuoso. He has won awards at the Edinburgh Festival of Music, at the Vatican and at Steinway Hall in London.

This fall, he released his first CD, a collection of his own work, including a six-part composition based on a story he wrote, "The Haunted Tower." On the cover, Luciani's painting of a boy giant, following his shadow up a mountain.

Tony Luciani at work on the painting. (Tony Luciani)

Ethan and Tony have never met. But it's as if they have.

Click "listen," above, to hear Alisa Siegel's documentary, Inside My Head.