Sunday, November 9, 2014

Eric Whitacre: the future of choral music


I was privileged enough to grow up in a small community with a large emphasis on the arts, and with that came exposure to incredible musical material; in particular, the work of Eric Whitacre. Learning and performing his creations is something to be remembered; both in uniqueness and difficulty. He has an ability to capture some of the most abstract sounds and chord progressions one may ever hear, and throughout a song will take the listener from confusing abnormality to understandable resolution. There are moments throughout some of his pieces where a single chord will be divided into up to eighteen different parts, and for all of that to be done intentionally is mind blowing. Incredible depth and talent coming from a guy who aspired to be a rock star for most of his early life.
 A piano player throughout his childhood, this Grammy Award winning artist wasn't even able to read music until his twenties, when he was inspired upon performing 'Mozart's Requiem' for the first time. At that moment he knew he wanted to compose. From there he become musically literate, earned his bachelors in music, later earned his masters from Julliard, and has been making a name for himself ever since.
Whitacre not only pushes the boundaries of choral, orchestral, and symphonic music, but has gone even further by assuring that this art form is preserved and shared with others on a mass level. He has taken to the web to collaborate "virtual choirs" of individuals from all over the world; combining thousands of recordings to produce epic performances which can be accessed by anyone. He is most certainly a force to be reckoned with and will surely continue to impact the world of music in the upcoming years.
This site contains a full biography. Provided is information on musical history and current achievements, along with recordings and pictures. 
Thousands from all over the world have participated in the 'virtual choir'. This link will take you to the site of his most recent virtual endeavor, "Fly to Paradise."
 This site is a great archive of many compositions. All titles, run times, and years of release are listed.