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Eric Whitacre and the new generation choruses

Eric Whitarce (born January 2, 1970) is a famous American composer and conductor. His name is widely known for his choral, orchestral and wind ensemble works. In March 2016, he was appointed a resident artist for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Whitarce was born in Reno, Nevada and studied music from a young age, mostly piano that he loved. He participated in several small bands while still in school, but then switched to playing techno-pop synthesizers, dreaming of becoming a music star. The only drawback of Whitarce at the time was that he could not read the notes. Therefore, to pursue his hobby more professionally, he majored in music and graduated from Nevada University, Las Vegas.

Eric Whitarce studied music composition jointly with Ukrainian composer Virko Baley and studied the conductor course with David Weiller, and completed his BM course in 1995. He then took a Master's degree at Juilliard school, co-attended with John Corigliano and David Diamond. When he was only 23 years old, he resonated with the launch of his first Wind Ochestra title Ghost Train, currently recorded more than 40 times. Whitarce graduated from the course in 1997 and from Ghost Train's success, he decided to become a professional composer.

His first album was Light & Gold (released by Decca / Universal) won the 2012 Grammy Award and climbed to the UK's highest ranking only in its first week of release. 2nd album Water Night released in April 2012 by Decca with the participation of professional singer Eric Whitacre Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitmann.

One of the most memorable things about listeners about Eric Whitarce is his unique style of composition, using most of what he can think of from the sound of the surrounding or the sounds of the props. . His works are critically acclaimed as "innovative but still retain their own characteristics". The famous music projects of the big brother have Virtual Choir (Sleep, Lux Aurumque…) with about 185 artists from 12 countries. Virtual Choir 2.0 then there was a larger scale with more than 2,000 vocal voices over 58 countries. Virtual Choir 3.0, Water Night, composed in 1995, combined 3,746 entries from 73 countries worldwide, and was released in April 2012. Water Night also used to commemorate the 100 years of the Titanic sinking to the ocean floor.

Virtual Choir 4.0, Fly to Paradise, including 8,409 videos from 5,905 participants from 101 countries. The Choir Virtual Youth used in the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, co-produced by UNICEF. This work consists of 2,292 singers aged 18 and over from about 80 countries. Whitacre also planned for Virtual Choir 5.0 in the past 5/2018, using the background of works Deep Field (2015).

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Currently, Eric Whitarce is the founder of BCM International, the quartet group including Mr. Steven Bryant, Jonathan Newman and James Bonney. He debuted at BBC Proms in 2012, and in 2015 he returned to Proms to work on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Singers and BBC Chorus, taking mainstream American music.

His Wind Symphony works include October, Sleep, Lux Aurumque, Cloudburst, Libertas Imperio, Ghost Train, Equus, Noisy Wheels of Joy and The Seal Lullaby. SATB Choral publications include A Boy and a Girl, Alleluia, Cloudburst, Enjoy the Silence, Glow, Little Tree, Lux Aurumque, Nox Aurumque, The Seal Lullaby, She Weeps Over Rahoon, Sleep, Sleep, My Child, Three Flower Songs, I Hide Myself, With a Lily in Your Hand, Go, Lovely Rose, Three Songs of Faith, Water Night, The Sacred Veil… Notable Orchestral works include Godzilla Eats Las Vegas, October, The River Cam, Water Night and Winter.

He participated in composing film soundtracks for a series of popular artists like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (with Hans Zimmer), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

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Not only is the talented composer, Eric Whitarce in real life also a smart and witty man. In a music program prepared for the Hong Kong concert, he stayed at the hotel and answered some of the fans' interview questions. Here are some excerpts from his conversation that day.

Can you tell us about how music is perceived as well as where is my musical origin?

For any song, I spend a lot of time on the first stage to find ideas, but then the notes start "overflowing" and I just write them down. The process is that I will try to find the sounds that best match the emotions I want, giving the work a necessary "empathy".

His works always seem to be deepened and explored more than the current common ground, thereby making them more marked in the hearts of listeners. Take for example Cloudburst, the amazing transmission from the first to last notes, with the echoes around. What inspiration did you have when working with this work?

Cloudburst good Deep Field and almost all my compositions are done with great concentration. The sounds that are present are not simply to create a melody, but they also have to show off the creative idea conveyed behind. That is the job that I have to complete in the best way possible.

How can he integrate poetry into his music so beautifully? From 13th-century poems to 19th-century knives he was incorporated into his work. What are some of the things that make them so suitable and that you choose?

Words are the focus of music and for me all works come from the flow of poetry. The music is mainly to "direct" the listener to follow the emotional flow of the whole work.

How did he start working with Charles Anthony Silvestri?

Tony and I were close friends for a long time, and also a colleague that I was very respectful of. He always listens to my most demanding demands and does it with comfort, not discomfort. The most recent work I wrote was the lyrics and he was in charge of composing music.

When moving the style of composition into non-verbal music, do you work in a special way other than when composing common music?

Yes. A choral work always begins with the lyrics and I can use poetic words and dub the music for it. However, with non-verbal music, I can only express the emotions of the work with melody. This is sometimes a lot more time consuming because there are so many ways to express and I am always confused between them. In addition, I am also quite a difficult person and requires everything to be perfect.

His Virtual Choir works have made a strong impression with the use of advanced technology. What share do you have about them?

The process of making a work Virtual Choir It is never easy or fast, but it is worth the effort. Take for example Virtual Choir 4.0, more than 8,505 singers from 101 countries worldwide have sent to the filming and recording sessions to attend. Principle of Virtual Choir Anyone can participate whether professional or amateur. The only exceptions are those who do not meet the technological standard requirements.

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How do you prepare for a concert?

My wife is a very ruleful person and sometimes has a little bit of rigidity. She was always silent for 4 hours before the concert started to completely concentrate. I'm the opposite. I appeared very late and wandered around chatting with artists, backstage staff and people around until someone came and took me (laugh).

Do you see any difference in choruses in different countries? What is the difference between Flemish Radio Choir and BBC Singers?

The focus is on the vocals of each singer and how good the "harmony" is. I can tell from which part of the choir right away from their voice.

When not working, what do you do with your free time?

I will spend time with my family. Time for family is the most important time.

Back to composition. Have you ever had an idea of ​​running out of ideas?

Luckily, not yet. I often start working on a certain rule and call the first note the "golden brick" as the foundation for any piece. They have influenced since I was a child. At that time there were times when I simply sat in front of the piano, played some random music and listened to the reverberating sound from the piano. Many of my works are heavily influenced by this practice, for example Lux Aurumque, Sleep good A Boy and a Girl such as. And when composing, it also complements my feelings to be new in different works.

Could you tell me more about Lux Aurumque?

In 2010 I used it Lux Aurumque for the work Virtual Choir with 185 voices from singers of about 12 countries. I want to guide the audience to adjust their breathing when listening, making them do it unconsciously without needing to write anything. Indeed, when sitting in the audience seat and watching Lux Aurumque performing, if the tempo is accurate and the melody is well harmonized, the audience will begin to slowly adapt and stabilize their breathing.

Thank you Sir.


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