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Virtual choir is back with “Sleep”

April 8, 2011

In an incredibly moving YouTube video last year, Eric Whitacre led a virtual choir of 185 people from around the world as they sang his piece, “Lux Aurumque.” Whitacre is a popular American composer and conductor with several recordings under his belt, including a Grammy nominee. Yesterday a new video (shown below) was released at the Paley Center for Media in New York. The virtual choir that sings “Sleep” boasts over 2,000 voices from 58 countries!

One line in the new song,”a thousand pictures fill my head,” aptly reflects the crowded look of the video. The visuals may be overdone, but the technology and effort involved are seriously impressive — and there’s no way to deny either the power or the beauty of the music. Lyricist Charles Anthony Silvestri is responsible for the texts of both virtual choir pieces.

In case you were wondering, Whitacre and company are not the only ones editing volunteer YouTube submissions into a single product. I wrote about a musical video montage last November on this blog (see Fans provide video for montage) and Michael Wesch is working on “The Visions of Students Today,” in which students will show how they see their world and how they learn.

Whitacre’s first video was apparently assembled by one person using Adobe After Effects. Not surprisingly, the credits at the end of the new project suggest a large production team. The result is technically mind-boggling. Perhaps its underlying purpose is to promote a resourceful musician. I don’t care; this is breathtaking!

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