Computer Chorus

Friday, June 04, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Computers both isolate and connect us. Here's a strange, spooky, but pretty-sounding example of this contemporary condition.

My brother sent me (via computer, natch) a performance of Eric Whitacre's piece "Lux Aurumque" featuring a virtual choir of 185 people in 12 countries, each alone, singing their part of the score into the Web cam of their computer. All of these individual strands were later woven into an electronically assembled choir. The video below shows them on a virtual stage directed by a digital version of the photogenic composer.

The concept seems designed to elicit publicity, and features music a little too evidently designed to please, so the skeptic in me notices this. But at the same time I have to marvel that such an artificial gathering can genuinely, if not literally, bring people together. What do you think?

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Comments [1]

Michael Meltzer

When you are singing in a live chorus, you are tuning and timing yourself to blend with and reinforce the people around you, and they are reciprocating. There's a special buzz that goes with that, and a special musical result when it really clicks.
That being said, the virtual choir doesn't have to replace anything, it is an interesting and entertaining extra dimension that adds to the mix. Anything that gets people to participate in making music is a plus.

Jun. 09 2010 04:28 AM

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