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  • In 1991 I had

  • maybe the most profound and transformative

  • experience of my life.

  • I was in the third year of my seven-year undergraduate degree.

  • I took a couple victory laps in there.

  • And I was on a college choir tour up in Northern California,

  • and we had stopped for the day after all day on the bus,

  • and we were relaxing next to this beautiful

  • idyllic lake in the mountains.

  • And there were crickets and birds and frogs making noise,

  • and as we sat there, over the mountains coming in

  • from the north were these Steven Spielbergian clouds

  • rolling toward us,

  • and as the clouds got about halfway over the valley,

  • so help me God, every single animal in that place

  • stopped making noise at the same time.

  • (Whoosh) This electric hush, as if they could sense what was about to happen.

  • And then the clouds came over us, and then,

  • boom! This massive thunderclap, and sheets of rain.

  • It was just extraordinary, and when I came back home

  • I found a poem by the Mexican poet Octavio Paz,

  • and decided to set it to music,

  • a piece for choir called "Cloudburst,"

  • which is the piece that we'll perform for you in just a moment.

  • Now fast forward to just three years ago.

  • (Music) And we released to YouTube this,

  • the Virtual Choir Project,

  • 185 singers from 12 different countries.

  • You can see my little video there conducting these people,

  • alone in their dorm rooms

  • or in their living rooms at home.

  • Two years ago, on this very stage, we premiered

  • Virtual Choir 2,

  • 2,052 singers from 58 different countries,

  • this time performing a piece that I had written called "Sleep."

  • And then just last spring we released Virtual Choir 3,

  • "Water Night," another piece that I had written,

  • this time nearly 4,000 singers from 73 different countries.

  • (Music)

  • And when I was speaking to Chris about the future

  • of Virtual Choir and where we might be able to take this,

  • he challenged me to push the technology as far as we possibly could.

  • Could we do this all in real time?

  • Could we have people singing together in real time?

  • And with the help of Skype,

  • that is what we are going to attempt today.

  • Now, we'll perform "Cloudburst" for you.

  • The first half will be performed by the live singers here on stage.

  • I'm joined by singers from Cal State Long Beach,

  • Cal State Fullerton and Riverside Community College,

  • some of the best amateur choirs in the country, and

  • (Applause) --

  • and in the second half of the piece,

  • the virtual choir will join us, 30 different singers

  • from 30 different countries.

  • Now, we've pushed the technology as far as it can go,

  • but there's still less than a second of latency,

  • but in musical terms, that's a lifetime.

  • We deal in milliseconds.

  • So what I've done is, I've adapted "Cloudburst"

  • so that it embraces the latency

  • and the performers sing into the latency

  • instead of trying to be exactly together.

  • So with deep humility, and for your approval,

  • we present "Cloudburst."

  • (Applause)

  • (Piano)

  • [The rain ...]

  • [Eyes of shadow-water]

  • [eyes of well-water]

  • [eyes of dream-water.]

  • [Blue suns, green whirlwinds,]

  • [birdbeaks of light pecking open]

  • [pomegranate stars.]

  • [But tell me, burnt earth, is there no water?]

  • [Only blood, only dust,]

  • [only naked footsteps on the thorns?]

  • [The rain awakens...]

  • [We must sleep with open eyes,]

  • [we must dream with our hands,]

  • [we must dream the dreams of a river seeking its course,]

  • [of the sun dreaming its worlds.]

  • [We must dream aloud,]

  • [we must sing till the song puts forth roots,]

  • [trunk, branches, birds, stars.]

  • [We must find the lost word,]

  • [and remember what the blood,]

  • [the tides, the earth, and the body say,]

  • [and return to the point of departure...]

  • (Music)

  • (Applause)

  • ["Cloudburst" Octavio Paz][translation by Lysander Kemp, adapted by Eric Whitacre]

  • Eric Whitacre: Beth. Annabelle, where are you? Jacob.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

In 1991 I had

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B1 TED choir virtual latency eric piece

【TED】Eric Whitacre: Virtual Choir Live (Eric Whitacre: Virtual Choir Live)

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/07/03
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