Eric Whitacre launches Virtual Choir 3

Composer Eric Whitacre has embarked on his latest Virtual Choir project, the ambitious plan to get as many people as possible to record one of his pieces.

This will be the third project of its kind and individuals have until January 31st to enter and upload their recording of Whitacre’s a cappella piece, Water Night.

People, who have taken part in Virtual Choir before, as well as new singers, are encouraged to join in, although the composer is keen to create clearer diction and a more beautiful sound this time. One of the reasons for this is that the project will be made into an audio-visual art installation which will be broadcast in cities across the world, as well as uploaded onto YouTube.

Indeed, singers from 62 countries have already signed up to take part in this year’s project and the digital sheet music for Water Night is already a bestseller on Musicroom.com.

Virtual Choir first launched in 2009 after a girl sent the composer a video of her singing one of his choral pieces. It involved a choir of 185 voices from 12 countries, all uploaded online, of his piece Lux Aurumque. It clocked up one million hits on YouTube in the first two months of its release. A second project of his work Sleep was created in 2010, involving 2,252 people from 58 countries.

Water Night was first performed in 1995 and is one of Whitacre’s most famous songs. It has five soprano lines, four altos, three tenors and three basses, splitting into 14 different parts at some points. Singers taking part can choose any part to record.

This time, the technology of recording the parts has been improved and masterclasses and online seminars will be run online to help singers perfect their line, learn singing techniques and give the best performance.

Virtual Choir 3 is due to be released in spring 2012.

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