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A Virtual Choir?

June 13, 2012

A few weeks back I preached a sermon titled The Flight From/To Conversation. It was about the ways we connect and communicate with one another. I focused particularly on new social media and technology, and how these mediums can shape who we are.

Check out this recent TED talk by composer/director Eric Whitacre who who has created three different virtual choirs.

In the talk he speaks about the process of building the choir and his own sense of connection with the singers. He then speaks about connections made between the singers themselves. There are many rich moments passed over without comment, like the the woman in Alaska whose husband told her she didn’t have the voice to be a part of a choir, but that she sang nevertheless. What affirmation of her gift to be a part of this – overcoming her husbands doubt and dismissal.

At the bottom of the page there is another video of Whitacre’s third virtual choir singing an original piece, “Water Night.”

The ability to connect is clearly powerful. But has something more than connection happened? And if so, has it generated the fruits of conversation – listening, taking time, showing patience, strength, forebearance and dedication to place?

What do you think?

One Comment leave one →
  1. CSKupka permalink
    June 15, 2012 7:39 pm

    After much discussion, M and I came away with many questions. To what extent do/did the singers connect with each other? Yes, there is the example of the siblings who used to sing together and then one joined the military; in that case, the project provided the opportunity for them to sing together again. Other than their example, did other singers connect with each other? Or, did they simply upload their contribution with no other interaction? But, is that even the question?
    Perhaps it is a better question to look at it from the viewpoint of how did this/these virtual interactions impact the viewer(s)/listener(s)? The viewers/listeners listen, obviously. After viewing/listening to the 1.0, the 2.0 and 3.0 followed. To an extent, this creates a dedicated place – to listen to the virtual connections of people around the world.
    But, maybe the viewpoint of the ultimate creator should also be considered? He created a place – 3 times. He exemplifies the implementation of all questions posed – listening (to the contributions), taking time (to listen and create from individual contributions), showing patience (by listening and compiling), strength (in listening, compiling and using individuals to create a larger being than themselves in the singular), forbearance (similar to strength and taking time – self-control in creating the idea, listening, and compiling the final set), and dedication to place (as stated above, by creating 3 “places” for the contributors and viewers to engage, albeit virtually but indefinitely).
    The creator, then, seems to establish more of a forum to engage beyond mere “connection” and has generated “fruits of conversation,” as shown by the fact that the question is even asked.

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