Technology Bridges Space and Time as Composer Eric Whitacre Conducts Virtual Choir on YouTube

Michael Cerkas's picture

What began as a dream by Eric Whitacre was recently realized as he conducted a Virtual Choir on the internet, blending more than 2000 voices in perfect harmony via YouTube.

Professional American composer and Julliard graduate Eric Whitacre conducted 2,052 people representing 58 countries as they sang Whitacre’s musical composition ‘Sleep’. The virtual choir concept came to Whitacre in 2009 after having seen 17-year-old Britlin Losee, who had uploaded a video of herself to YouTube, where she sang the Soprano piece to the acclaimed ‘Sleep’ musical composition by Eric Whitacre.

Whitacre’s virtual crowdsourced choir subsequently came to being. He described the experience by saying, “I was just so moved by the way she was singing and the look on her face. She looked directly into the camera. And she had such a pure and sweet tone. And it struck me. I thought, ‘God, if I can get 50 people to do this all at the same time from around the world, post their videos and then we could cut them together, we could make a virtual choir.”

From that moment of virtual conception, Whitacre assembled 185 singers from 12 countries as they sang to another Eric Whitacre composition called “Lux Aurumque.” He named this effort ‘Virtual Choir 1.0’ and posted it on YouTube... In a very short time it had accumulated 2,000,000 views.

After having reflected on that success, Whitacre then set his sights much higher; a Guinness World Record. The creation of ‘Virtual Choir 2.0’ was launched. The choir would sing Whitacre’s famous ‘Sleep’ composition. He uploaded a video containing instructions and identified the ‘Sleep’ musical composition.

Britlin Losse, Whitacre’s initial inspiration for the concept and project, was flabbergasted. She stated, “Amazing. I still can’t even explain it. What I just learned from the entire experience is that when you do something really pure out of your heart, you know, not wanting anything in return, you know, miraculous things can happen.”

And happen they did, as Eric Whitacre just released ‘Virtual Choir 2.0’, featuring 2,052 singers across 58 countries, rendering ‘Sleep’ as if it were indeed a dream. In reality, it is a dream that has come true for Eric Whitacre. Now, it is anyone’s guess what will come next.

Eric Whitacre was recently invited to speak about his project via a ‘TED Talk’. TED is a contemporary and respected online conference presentation of sorts, focusing on Technology, Entertainment, and Design; featuring well-known speakers among various industries.

Watch Eric Whitacre’s TED Talk below.

Below, watch, be entertained and be graced by 'Virtual Choir 2.0', the musical composition ‘Sleep’ as it is performed in unison by more than 2,000 voices originating in 58 countries across the planet.

You may ask yourself, “Where on Earth did this come from?”... Well, literally, it has come from "all over the planet."

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You can reach Michael Cerkas via email at

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