Eric Whitacre’s amazing virtual choir
This year, Amazing Stuff has featured incredible internet based projects from the likes of Aaron Koblin, Chris Jordan and Chris Milk. Eric Whitacre is the next addition to this posthumous list of cyber-revolutionaries.
Whitacre is an American composer, conductor and lecturer. He is one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. He is also the creator of Virtual Choir, a worldwide community of musicians conducted by Whitacre over the internet. Inspired by a video sent to him of a young girl singing one of his choral pieces he then began with a test run of ‘Sleep’, then ‘Lux Aurumque’ in 2009 and was followed again by ‘Sleep’ in 2010. The video for Lux Aurumque, featuring a virtual choir of 185 voices from 12 countries, was described as a ‘musical experience that works better than anyone might have expected,’ their video receiving over 1,000,000 hits in the first two months of its release.
Here, Whitacre talks of the inception of Virtual Choir:
…and what follows is the result. If you are disillusioned with all the bad things in the world today, take 6 minutes to have your faith in creativity and humankind rekindled.
As a result of the success of ‘Lux Aurumque’, Whitacre started work on Virtual Choir 2.0, ‘Sleep’, featuring over 2000 voices from 58 countries.
Whitacre was invited to talk at TED 2011 about his projects, where he received a standing ovation. See the video below.
Whitacre has had credit lavished on him from awarding bodies, political establishments and the UN, but perhaps a comment on his YouTube video most appropriately sums up the magic. Migual Hilao said in response to Virtual Choir 1, Jul 6 2011:
Bravo! Not often does something like this come together and it is uplifting to see so many come together for a common cause. Eric has demonstrated that we are world citizens and how music can eliminate borders. The potential for this type of collaboration is limitless. For those brief moments there was a small formation of world peace through the language of music. Maybe we should start singing in the political arena. Congratulations Eric.