Saturday, December 28, 2013

An Inspiring Use Of Social Media



Eric Whitacre
If you are unfamiliar with TED talks, they can be among the most compelling illustrations of the potential of the human spirit.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. But it is the inherent nature of the human element that melds these other components into unique and inspiring stories.

I was reminded of the power of these modern day parables this morning when I came across an article in The Huffington Post that presented a Ted Talk from 2011. In that talk composer Eric Whitacre spoke of his exercise in using social media (YouTube) to create a “virtual choir”. He recruited individuals from around the world to submit a video of themselves singing one part of a choral piece he had composed. The individual contributions were then edited into a composite whole. The result was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

I was inspired to find out what had become of this project since 2011.

In 2012 Whitacre completed the third of his virtual choirs, Water Night, featuring 3,746 videos from 73 countries.

Most recently he released the fourth of these global collaborations. There are thousands of faces in the skyscraper windows in this anime-inspired 3D music video. Each face is a webcam capture of a singer — 5,905 of them to be exact, from 101 countries across the globe. Their voices have been blended together for his latest composition, “Fly to Paradise.“

Below I’ve posted two videos. The first is the original Ted Talk from 2011 which details the birth of Whitacre’s concept and its initial realization. The second is the most recent presentation, “Fly To Paradise”. It is interesting to note that in the latter case the list of credits for contributors runs longer than the music video itself.




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