My head is filled with so many thing right now. This, hands down, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. And the genesis of how it came to be makes it even more beautiful.
Los Angeles-based composer and conductor Eric Whitacre has taken the notion of crowd-sourcing to a new level. An artistic, sincere, sonically communal level. He used his blog, his Facebook page, and YouTube to audition hundreds of singers to virtually perform his newest choral work, “Lux Aurumque.” The chosen 185 vocalists, from 12 different countries, were sent the sheet music and each individually videoed themselves performing their part. Whitacre and his team then synched them together and created a video of a virtual choir, complete with all the singers, in video form, standing like a choir with a video of Whitacre himself conducting from the centre.
The result soars. There’s no other word for it. I pressed play and the world slipped by and I felt like I was nowhere and everywhere at once.
To me, the formation of the choir itself is such a lovely metaphor in itself: instead of just coming together vocally, this group was brought together across the means of separation that held them apart – distance, language, and the reality of their lives – to be brought together by a common love of singing and a common access to the internet. The digital world has the possibility to unite us in so many new ways.
Humbly, I don’t love the annotations at the beginning of the vid (I think they’re tacky and amateurish) and the purple and blue “lights” are sort of killing me (though I get that it’s reminiscent of choir theatre lighting, which isn’t always the greatest). I would LOVE to see what a real motion designer would do to create a visual interpretation of the virtual choir that’s as exquisitely haunting as the sound of it. For some reason, director Asif Mian is the first one that popped into my head. I’d kill to see Mian create a video for something like this.