If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

'Water Night' Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 3

'Water Night' Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 3

Eric Whitacre is an American composer best known for his choral music. He has also written a large number of wind band compositions and some electronic music. In addition, he has composed works for orchestra and an opera, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. 

His style is quite approachable and features trademark chords (sevenths and ninths, sometimes heard against a background of sustained seconds and fourths), unexpected chord progressions, aleatoric elements, finger snapping by choral singers, and a host of other typically recognizable characteristics. 


His sound world, though modern and quite individual, is invested with certain elements out of the past, however: his orchestral version of Water Night, originally written for chorus, carries echoes of Barber's famous Adagio for Strings, and some have compared Whitacre's style to that of Morten Lauridsen. 

That said, Whitacre is among the most original American voices of his time. His music is widely performed, especially in the U.S., and recordings of his music, particularly his choral works, are available on Hyperion, Clarion, Albany, and many other labels.

The Los Angeles Times has praised his compositions as "works of unearthly beauty and imagination, (with) electric, chilling harmonies"; while the BBC raves that "what hits you straight between the eyes is the honesty, optimism and sheer belief that passes any pretension. This is music that can actually make you smile.

Virtual Choir 3 featured ‘Water Night’ composed by Eric Whitacre and was launched at the Lincoln Center, New York in a live online webcast and revealed on YouTube in April 2012. It received an amazing 3746 videos from 73 countries.
The directors, Cake, developed creative solutions for this volume of material to a brief, working closely together with Eric to develop the final film inspired by the Virtual Choir community and the text from ‘Water Night’ by Octavio Paz:
If you open your eyes, night opens doors of musk, the secret kingdom of the water opens flowing from the centre of the night. And if you close your eyes, a river, a silent and beautiful current, fills you from within, flows forward, forward, darkens you: night brings its wetness to beaches in your soul.

Since the time of its reveal, it has been mastered into bespoke audio-visual installations in cities across the world featuring in the iconic new Visitor Centre, Titanic Belfast later that month.  

Following the celebrations around the opening of the new building and marking 100 years since the loss of Titanic, the projection of Virtual Choir 3, Water Night, in the atrium of Titanic Belfast provided a moment of contemplation for the lost souls.

It also featured as an audio installation on London’s Millennium Bridge, as part of the celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, commissioned by the Mayor of London.


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