One of my favourite contemporary composers is Eric Whitacre, who first came to my attention via twitter (you can follow him at @ericwhitacre) when I saw a tweet advertising his virtual choir. I was intrigued enough to take a look at the virtual choir website. (ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir) You can also find the Virtual choir on Facebook.
The idea behind the virtual choir is that anyone can take part, all you need is access to a computer and webcam. Each virtual choir performance, there have been three so far, is a unique piece of choral music written by Eric. He posts the music on the site so that you can download the score and then he produces a video of him as the virtual conductor that you sing along to, and when you are ready, you record yourself and post the recording online. Eric then puts all the recordings together to produce the final performance which is then available for anyone to watch via the website or you tube.
The three pieces of music so far produced are incredibly moving, and a fantastic example of collaboration. Virtual choir 3 Water Night launched on April 2nd 2012 with 3746 videos from 73 countries. You can watch this and his other videos and the virtual choir You Tube channel as well as on his website.
Virtual Choir 3, ‘Water Night’, will soon be heard as part of the world’s largest 3D soundscape in an installation that will begin July 27. The soundscape – ‘Tales from the Bridge’ – will run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games on Millennium Bridge (it crosses the Thames between St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern.) Heard by over 4 million visitors during the games, the ‘Water Night’ audio will open the hour–long composition with music and poetry by Martyn Ware and David Bickerstaff.