Monday, May 16, 2011

Two daughters' reviews of Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong

My program to have my older two daughters watch two TED talks a month has slowed down with the two foster care boys currently residing at our home.  The boys are good boys, but have lots of energy and are very disruptive.

This time they picked Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong.

Here is my first daughter's review:

When Eric Whitacre was a teenager he wanted to be a popstar. But, he joined a choir on a friends urging, loved it, and went on to earn a masters at Julliard. He composed many pieces, first as a tribute to that original choir director, then as a source of income.

A young girl named Britlin recorded herself singing one of his compositions, a piece called “Sleep.” She then posted this on Youtube as a tribute.

This Youtube video spawned an idea. Could many singers from all over the world sing in a choir together? Eric Whitacre decided to find out. He recorded himself conducting “Lux Aurmque,” another of his pieces, and asked his fans to recorded themselves singing the same piece.

Singers from Singapore to Sweden to Texas posted their videos on Youtube. Many of the participants reported that they had recorded fifty to sixty takes to get the perfect one. Scott Haynes volunteered to edit the various videos. He scrubbed the audio and put all the videos together. This video has since gone viral. It had received over a million hits in the first month.

Right now Whitacre is working on another video of the piece “Sleep.” He is right now editing the video together. It may take some time. When he finessed collecting videos he had over two thousand participants.

And my second daughter's review:

I watched the virtual choir Ted talk by Eric Whitacre. Several years ago he got a fan video from a teenager singing one of his songs. After viewing the video he got the idea that if he could get fifty or so people to do the same, sing a piece of music and post it on YouTube, they could create a virtual choir. He posted a video of himself conducting a song and made it so people could download the music for free. They got 185 voices. About a year latter they posted their first ‘virtual choir’ video.

After the first he started getting questions as to what the next virtual choir video would be. He posted another video of himself conducting and got 2058 submission. They put the second video up on YouTube in April 2011.

I think it’s so cool that they can do things like this and it makes me wonder what else people could do together though today’s modern communications.

Henry's two cents:

I am fascinated by how the internet allows distributive collaboration of a variety of projects.  As an engineer I've long know of the open source effort which has created things like Linux.  I think over time we'll see more and more variety producing things like these virtual choirs.

We live in an amazing world.

Here's the talk:

Here is the first virtual choir:

Here is the second virtual choir:


Anita said...

This is really cool! I recently epubbed a book, and some of my writer friends in other countries bought it immediately. Just a couple years ago that wouldn't have been possible.

Sisterlisa said...

Amazing, thanks for sharing this. I'll pass it on to my daughters too.

Henry Cate said...

Anita - You might find The Long Tail. Chris Anderson makes the same point, that advances in technology allow new markets to develope which weren't even possible years ago.

Sisterlisa - I'm glad you enjoyed it. You might have your daughters check out TED talks in general. 98% of them are very worthwhile.