Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Join the choir

Posted By on Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:54 AM

If you've never heard of Eric Whitacre before, be prepared to hear more from the composer and conductor from now on. Whitacre recently created the Virtual Choir, a viral video featuring singers from around the world, who are all performing at home computers and webcamming themselves into the chorale.

If that sounds like a recipe for tonal disaster, fear not, these people can actually sing. And Whitacre had a plan, with free downloads of sheet music for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses, as well as auditions for key parts. The individual videos were then edited and pasted into a master "performance." "Lux Aurumque," below, features 185 voices and a clever virtual stage.

Whitacre, who received no formal musical training until he was 18 years old, writes in his blog:

My goal with this ‘chapter’ of the Virtual Choir was to see if we could not just sing our parts separately and cut them together; I wanted to see if we could actually make music. There is a lot of rubato in my conducting (slowing down, speeding up) and some very specific dynamic gestures, and the singers responded beautifully.

For more on how the Virtual Choir is created, visit ericwhitacre.com/blog/the-virtual-choir-how-we-did-it.

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