Now Eric Whitacre composes classical choral works of music. In a TED conference talk (I lasted about 3:45 minutes before my first tear,) he told an audience how a young women sang a portion of one of his works on youtube. It inspired him to try an experiment. He would assemble a choir made up of youtube videos of people singing from all over the world.
He created a soundless youtube video of him conducting a song, then made another with with a piano background for the song and made the music available.
Eventually, over 2050 people from over 50 countries created their own personal videos of their part of the song. Some of them did over 50 "takes" to get the recording they were satisfied with.
He was fortunate to get one volunteer to weave and "render' them all together.
Describing his experience coordinating this extraordinarily beautiful production, he described how he discovered, "Human beings will go to any lengths necessary to find and connect with each other. It doesn't matter the technology. People seemed to be experiencing an actual choir. They never met. I feel an esprit de corps."
Technologically, for the audo engineers reading this, he added, "With 2000 syncronized youtubes videos the render time is atrocious. "
The TED video briefly shows his first experiment, then walks us through more on how he put a bigger project together and shows the first two minutes of the actual Bottom Up Virtual Choir. Below that, you can listen to and view the full performance. This new, extraordinary art form seems to be one more way for humanity to build bridges of connection between us. I'd love to see this kind of art included in movies and TV. Imagine James Cameron's sequel to Pandora with a choir of thousands creating the sound for his next 3-D adventure.