Tag Archives: Eric Whitacre

Choralstep: An Emerging Music Genre

As a fan of choral music, I often follow the endeavors of modern composers. Eric Whitacre is my personal favorite, and I like to follow a lot of his recent endeavors. After our high school choir instructor offered us a listening session of Whitacre’s work, I was instantly hooked. Since, I have familiarized myself with a considerable portion of his compositions, and have participated in his Virtual Choir annually. On his blog I stumbled upon a remix which another musician of Whitacre’s track Sleep. Alan Keary fused together choral music with a dubstep beat, hence creating what we might call choralstep.

A few months later Keary released another Whitacre choralstep remix of “Water Night”, possibly one of my favorite songs. Sometimes the music-snob in me fears when one alters the original music, but that transformation is phenomenal! It still captures the mystery of the original track, yet gives it an almost cinematic depth. The middle of the remix contains a heart-throbbing sense of adventure, yet feels slow-motion, almost like an action movie of some kind. The voices fade and return with more power, and string instruments played by Alan Keary add another level of drama. In the end, the chimes combined with strings create a heavy nostalgic feeling, which swirls together with this unexpected mix of mystery and memory. I don’t know if my description could possibly make any sense, but definitely check out the track! It’s available for free download too.

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Virtual Choir 3.0 “Water Night”

Eric Whitacre released Virtual Choir 3.0 today, in which I sang Alto II for “Water Night”. Bottom row, ninth from the left! The sheer quantity of singers is amazing with each new release, and I’m eager to see how many join VC 4.0.

From a production standpoint, I think this video could have been better. Producing it was probably rushed, and perhaps I was hoping for something more organic in visual quality. But hey, given the time frame and the quantity of footage to handle, it’s still impressive.

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“With a Lily in Your Hand” Kinetic Type

This evening, I finished my first attempt at kinetic typography. For our core design class, we ended the semester creating videos with the objective of using moving type to convey emotion. This is my first time using After Effects, though I am certain it won’t be my last. Kinetic type is pretty addicting, although I like it in short doses. I don’t know if I could animate an entire song and spare my sanity at the same time.

We weren’t required to have sound in our video at all, but inside I was screaming, “No sound required?! But this is the perfect opportunity to set type to music!” This is where my background in music comes in–I sifted through my entire music library for hours, brainstorming songs I could animate. Disappointingly, there isn’t a lot of choral kinetic type out there, hence I wanted to try content that hasn’t been done.

Back in my senior year in high school, our choir director would give us listening sessions. We would sit back and relax in darkness, as to get the best listening experience, and this is where I was first introduced to the contemporary composer Eric Whitacre. I soon bought his album and have been hooked since. I selected his song “With a Lily in Your Hand” because it has a strong energy about it, yet is dynamic enough for experimentation. When I hear music, I imagine it visually as well as aurally. This was my chance to express how I imagine music. I hope I did the song justice–at least for an amateur.

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Virtual Choir 2.0

I recently participated in Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2.0, performing his composition Sleep. What an experience! 1752 singers submitted videos from 58 countries, something that has never been done before. There’s something extraordinary about singing with hundreds of people, particularly ones you are complete strangers with. It fills me hope and delight when people are willing to unite from across such distances–music has a funny way of bringing us together, doesn’t it?

It does take a few takes to get your video just right, but seeing the final result is incredibly gratifying. I am definitely looking forward to joining the next round, and would recommend it to anyone with a passion for singing.

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