When is a choir not a choir ... yet still a choir?

When is an ensemble not assembled, yet is assembled?

Ask Eric Whitacre. Some time back, he was sent a link on YouTube of a woman, singing a single part of one of his works. This set a seed in his head: What if I created a reference track of me, conducting one of my works (as a synchrony and tuning reference) and asked singers from around the world to contribute their voices, using YouTube as our concert hall. Then use video and audio editing techniques to assemble the individual parts together into a balanced and blended WHOLE. It would be something entirely new: a VIRTUAL CHOIR.

You're kidding, right, some people are doubtless, thinking. No ... Eric doesn't kid when it comes to music ... and as it happens, he's done it. No less than 185 voices from 12 different countries offered their voices to an extraordinary project: the creation of a performance of Eric's work, Lux Aurumque.

He's not done, either. As I write this, he has a guide track out for another of his well-beloved works: Sleep. It was the first of his pieces I ever heard, the song which cemented his name and his handiwork permanently in my head ... and I can't WAIT for the finished product!

For now, I simply ask: Please listen - Please enjoy!

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This gives me goosebumps every time!
If you think THAT's something, check out Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0!!!

Here's something else to consider:

Eric Whitacre has been producing some of the most amazing choral music the world has ever seen over the past 20 years.  This music has become inspirational to more people, kids, youth and adults alike, than any composer I can think of.  Yet the vast majority of his work makes NO reference to religion or god. 

It is worthy of note: Eric himself professes no particular faith or religious affiliation.  Whether he is, in fact, an atheist or not, I don't know and I won't assume.  The man writes MUSIC, and he chooses the words he wants to write to based on his own connection and rapport with those words.

I find it interesting that one of his most powerful works, "When David Heard," while taken from the old testament, is far less about a deity or worship thereof than it is about the emotion of a man who has lost his son, and at that, it is a work of devastating power and emotion.  "Water Night" has qualities I would equate with some of the finest liturgical music in the repertoire, yet it mentions "a horse that trembles in the night" from the words of Octavio Paz and not some unseen, unfelt, uncaring god.

I think this is music which deserves attention ... and that's why I write about it.




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