Combining technology and voice: a virtual choir

 How can we incorporate technology in creating a choir? Ask composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre. Eric’s journey into creating a virtual choir began when a fan of his music uploaded a recording of herself singing Sleep. Eric then asked others to send him videos of themselves singing the same composition. These were put together by Eric‘s friend, Scott Haines. Eric was so impressed with the result he decided to do another video, this time with himself conducting. This became the first virtual choir, which performed Lux Aurumque, with 185 singers from 12 countries. From there he moved to Virtual Choir 2, with 2052 singers from 58 countries, performing Sleep and followed later with Virtual Choir 3, with 3746 singers from 73 countries, performing Water Night. Read more about the choir history here.

Eric has refined the process to create each choir. Individual singers record their own voice, singing the part of their choice, and then upload their video to the Eric’s website. Detailed instructions are provided to ensure the resulting videos can be synced with others.  The videos are put together, resulting in a beautiful choir with an amazing sound!

Eric recently presented a TED Talk, with an onstage choir which was later joined by a virtual choir. The choir was slightly different in that it was in real time! Below is a short documentary of the production of the TED Talk.

Want to see more? Click here for Eric’s full TED Talk. For more information and links check out Eric’s website.  Eric is currently preparing Virtual Choir 4 which will feature as part of the Coronation Festival’s Gala performances in the gardens of Buckingham Palace next month (July, 2013).

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