Saturday, July 11, 2009

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - "Sleep"

Perhaps my favorite contemporary composer for chorus and wind ensemble, Eric Whitacre has finally finished the world's first virtual choir. Arranged without audition, Whitacre called on his blog for all interested singers to post a video of themselves on YouTube performing "Sleep" from his album Cloudburst - a collection of original choral works arranged and composed by himself, directed by Stephen Layton, and performed by Polyphony. Whitacre collected the various videos, organized them according to voice part, and compiled them into the video seen below. It's a little dirty when it comes to articulation and release, but the result still has a surprising level of quality:

(Waldo is hidden somewhere in this video. Can you find him?)

Amazing in concept and execution. Creating a virtual choir holds a lot of implications about where the music industry could potentially go - especially with classical composition. Eric Whitacre's blog is called Soaring Leap. Give it a click and look around. He has a lot to keep you interested and the first article will have the names and locations of the people involved in the video above posted in the comments section through out the day.

Eric Whitacre primarily composes choral and wind ensemble pieces - my favorite being "October" posted below:

(Performed by Arizona State University Wind Ensemble)

Additionally, in 2007 Whitacre, with lyricist David NoroƱa, wrote and composed for his own creation, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. An "Opera Electronica," Paradise Lost combined classical composition with ambient rock, electronic music, and opera. It had a very limited release, but the reviews were mostly positive. Check out the intro below:

I'm still kicking myself for not being able to catch it.


ali d said...

Hey, we did our best to get to L.A. to see it, but those tickets were damn expensive. And I'm totally kicking myself for dropping the ball on joining the digital chorus. That would have kicked ass.

Good post, thanks for putting up the video!

Ozkirbas said...

We did. A shame none the less, but it's good to know we at least had the resolve to go. "Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir" may actually continue on and do other things, if you're interested in the future. So don't kick yourself too much.

Also, could you find Waldo?

B.Graham said...

Eric Whitacre will forever remind me of sophomore year marching band first, and his actual music will come to mind second.