December 23, 2020
I was recently listening to a Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast. This podcast is a great exploration of various topics that all relate to sound. It is worth subscribing to.
The episode I was listening to was Sing Gently. It is an updated interview with composer Eric Whitacre. I was so moved by the episode that I wanted to write about it to urge others to listen to what it is about.
Eric Whitacre is a pioneer of "Virtual Choirs". He creates a composer track that people sing along with. People then submit recording of themselves back to him over social media. He compiles those recordings into these beautiful choir recording.
Prior to 2020 he had created five of these virtual choirs. Starting at about the 28 minute mark in the podcast they start discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, how singing is said to help spread the disease, and what that meant for choirs to get together.
This lead him to creating the sixth virtual choir, "Sing Gently". The idea behind the song originated from the current climate where the composer saw a great potential for people to be angry with each other and distance themselves from each other, not just physical distance. The idea in the song is to be gentle with each other, to be compassionate to each other, to show empathy, and to do that together.
The piece starts out: May we sing together always. May our voices be soft. 17,572 singers from 129 countries came together to perform "Sing Gently". A song with a message we should all take to heart this year. Please take a few minutes and listen.
If you enjoyed that, I've included the previous five virtual choir recordings so that you could listen to them.