Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

With recent television programmes such as The Choir featuring non-singers being trained and led by Gareth Malone, and the subsequent unparallelled success of The Military Wives, choirs have never been more popular in the UK.  As a complete non-singer, I can't help but be in awe.  There are now whole festivals of choirs singing together in the Royal Albert Hall; and up and down the country, people young and old are singing their hearts out.  Being in a choir is actually cool!


But world-renowned composer Eric Whitacre has gone one better using the magical power of Skype.  The Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor began his Virtual Choir project in May 2009 as a simple experiment in social media, when Britlin Losee, a fan of his music, recorded a video of her singing "Sleep" and sent it to him.  Whitacre requested other videos and received a deluge from around the world, creating an incredible virtual choir.


In his latest experiment, using the power of Skype, Whitacre attempts to fuse the worlds of technology and art.  With the composer conducting a 100 strong live choir on the TED stage, he was also joined by an additional choir of 30 from 28 different countries across the globe.



There was no pre-recording to rely on, and no editing to be done.  This is a genuine one take performance, empowered by Skype technology, but reliant on human talent and effort.  It is truly amazing, have a look:



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