Watch Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 'Fly to Paradise' with Fourth Installment
July 12, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. —
With nearly 6,000 voices represented, Eric Whitacre's latest installment of his 'Virtual Choir' series is the most ambitious and widest-reaching assembly of a global choir to date.
101 countries are represented, with singers running the gamut from age 6 to age 98. The geographic distribution of submissions to the Virtual Choir is nothing short of stunning.
But the process is anything but simple, (visit the site for more details) but distilled to its basic parts, the music is written and lead tracks are disseminated via the Internet for people to learn from and for nearly 4 weeks, people across the world stare into the tiny dot of their webcams, singing the piece appropriate for their vocal range.
Far before any of that, though, the Virtual Choir team worked on securing funding through Kickstarter as early as December 2012. With successful backing, they spent countless hours working on storyboards, graphics and animations.
Previous versions have visualized the choir within monolithic walls of singing voices, the fourth installment seems to favor a narrative flair. This year's installment features a character -- who looks as though ripped from a gender-swapped version of the Icarus myth from the ancient Greeks -- soaring through an urban landscape of skyscrapers, with each window in the buildings being filled by a submitted video of a singing voice.
The result? A dizzying 13-plus minute opus with an amazing range of voices, many of whom contributed their "virtual voice" from the very real choral hotbed of Minnesota.
If you sang in this year's (or previous year's) virtual choir, what did you think of the experience? How do you feel about the final product? Let us know the comments below.
Local paper shines spotlight on Tesfa
The Star Tribune's Kristin Tillotson has written a profile piece about Classical MPR's Choral Works Initiative manager, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, calling him "a charismatic man from Tennessee" who puts the cool in choral.