Eric Whitacre’s YouTube Choir Does ‘Lux Aurumque’

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir performs Lux Aurumque.

While Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque is not especially ‘electric’, it’s a fascinating and beautiful example of how composers can create work specific to new technologies.

In this case, Whitacre scored Lux Aurumque and asked singers on YouTube to sing the various parts, as he conducted the music via a YouTube video. The virtual choir was assembled from these performances and exists only in the computer. 

via EricWhitacresVrtlChr:

Scott Haines

Eric Whitacre

Representing 12 Countries:
New Zealand
The Philippines
United Kingdom
United States of America

11 thoughts on “Eric Whitacre’s YouTube Choir Does ‘Lux Aurumque’

  1. Hmmm…
    I like Kutiman's approach better.
    How is this work specific to the technology? Nothing about this actually takes advantage of the medium. You could even argue that a more successful piece of music would have been achieved through traditional means.
    I appreciate what was accomplished here, but it smacks of novelty for novelty's sake. This guy just had people record themselves singing a rather vanilla choir piece that he wrote and lined up all the tracks in Pro Tools.

  2. I actually appreciate that you posted this, but this kind of music being composed in 2010 makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. And that CGI stage setup is cheesy as hell!

  3. eric, though you are certainly allowed your opinion, I think you saying "…but this kind of music being composed in 2010 makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit." does make you sound ignorant.

  4. I'd have to agree on the cheesy 3D – but I think that this succeeds despite that.

    I'm impressed by the audacity of the project, the concept and by the sound of the virtual choir.

  5. I think Beethoven would be proud… the whole brotherhood of humankind thing… I thought it was brilliant. It has an expressive quality that I liked very much… how this could be perceived as novelty is confusing for me. It is by no means a masterwork, but compared to most popular electronic music, this is much more complex.

    Kutiman is awesome, but this is a much more sophisticated (read: complicated) composition. Composing, Organizing, getting the commitment of others, over vast distance, plus the studio work and assembly, holy shit. I like this type of thing very much.

  6. I don't know why I actually cared to comment on this video- I usually keep my opinions to myself because we all know that phrase about opinions (everyone has them, and they usually stink…).
    It comes across as novelty to me because it's a rather mundane choral composition that, while beautiful in it's execution (minus the CGI), is really just a bunch of video tracks lined up against a master "click".
    At least Kutiman showed significantly more creativity in his execution (blending these disparate elements that had nothing to do with each other) and, one could argue, a sense of "brotherhood" that equals that of the Lux project. Musically, neither of these things are my cup of tea, but Kutiman's stuff was much more moving to me.

  7. And how is this much more complex than most electronic music?
    It's just SATB. Maybe I'm just listening to different electronic music than y'all.

  8. Eric –

    I love Kutiman's stuff, too.

    Domi's got a point, though, about the scale of this project. Whitacre's project must have been incredibly difficult to pull off effectively, because of the complexity and scale of dealing with hundreds of vocalists spread across the world, yet he did it.

    I've featured both Kutiman and Whitacre on Synthtopia, though, because their both using YouTube as a technology platform for creating music in ways that was not possible before the Internet.

  9. i get your points. I listen to a lot of complex electronic music, mostly older stuff , (pierre, xenakis, old RTF recordings, some new stuff like aphex twin, venetian snares, BT) but I love classical.

    kutiman's stuff is more complex from an ryhthmic and editing standpoint. Whitacre's use of polyphony is more sophisticated, as is his composition. Show me the scores for both and I'll prove it.

    Look, Kutiman's stuff is more universal… i like it more than Whitacre's video. BUT,

    if you know your theory, take another listen. This is MUCH nerdier shit.

  10. Really?

    To all the negative comments, you're missing the point. This is a stunning use of the internet, regardless of the actual musical merit of the composition. Kutiman's stuff is great, but for some reason the scale of Whitacre's work really shocks the viewer in a good way, in a "Wow, you can actually do that?" sort of way. Also, rather than Kutiman's jamming approach this is a very well-orchestrated piece in the logistical sense. Throw up in your mouth all you want, this is genius.

  11. I find it bazarre that some people need to pull down something which is in itself so uplifting. Without getting into my head and comparing this work with Kutiman or anyone else, I appreciate this work for what it is. It is gentle and melodic and peace invoking. I love the fact that people from all over the world have been able to come together and collaborate in a creative act purely for the joy of doing so. If we can achieve this, what else is possible.
    Well done Eric and everyone who played a role in this creative collaboration. Thank you and "Encore!"

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