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The Harmonic Choir: Hearing Solar Winds

July 13, 2011 at 11:50 am UTC

One of my favorite albums. (Poet Charles Anthony Silvestri first gave me the CD over twenty years ago). Only six men singing. Listen for the harmonic ‘cloud’ they create, especially in the second half of the piece.

  • NReilingh

    If you like this, you’re going to want to check out the Chrysalid Requiem by Toby Twining (

    His other two albums; Shaman and Eurydice are incredible in their own ways as well.

  • Katharine

    You keep doing the space video thing, and of course I entirely approve. :) (That was my comment on the Newman/”Any Other Name” video about being a bit of an astronomy geek… you’ll see a bit of it in the text of my submission to the Abbey Road contest as well, which is, in part, loosely based on Pythagoras’ theory of the “musica universalis,” and I am currently working on another piece inspired by astronomy as well.) The mystery of this piece is so very appropriate to the thought of space, wow. I am so intrigued by harmonics.

    I’d love to hear this sung by a choir of pure-voiced women as well, but I’m not sure if I could handle the chills down my spine!

    My favorite, when it comes to great music + astronomical videos, is the Barber “Agnus Dei” that someone posted on YouTube with an astronomy video:

    That music gets to me every time anyway (the recording is also my favorite–Trinity College does the best job I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard a billion recordings of this piece), and then when the video is added… I have to be alone to watch it. :)

  • Michael J. Welten

    This is intoxicating =)

  • Ian Cousineau

    I’ve got to dig out this CD again- I first heard David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir at the Cathereral of St. John the Divine in Manhatten in the early 80′s ( a most heavenly space to hear the human voice and organ music) Took a workshop whith him the following day- I still enjoy singing solo harmonies with the techniques I learned from him.

  • John Wright

    I must admit I’ve never heard this before. Let me start by saying I can’t stand hyperbole in posts, but this piece absolutely wrecked me! I’ve never experienced such a visceral reaction to any piece of music, including the many acappella choral works I’ve known and loved. The overtones in this sent shivers through my entire body.
    Hyperbole done.

  • Matthew Roberts

    Beautiful recording. I’ve always been fascinated with tuning and harmonics and men’s voices…so I guess this is right up my alley :) I agree with the first commenter though! I first heard Twining’s Chrysalid Requiem a couple of years ago and was completely blown away. Pretty wild stuff!

  • Hong Zipeng

    this reminds me of byzantine music… especially at the beginning

  • Jon Fisher

    WHOAA! That was COOL!! ^_^ I’m checking this out further! RIGHT NOW!

    I looked into David Hykes and it’s no wonder that I liked this stuff. I love Overtone singing. Eric, if you haven’t already seen them, check out the Tuuvan Throat Singer group Huun Huur Tu. They’re awesome!

  • Bernard Farrell

    Mercy, this singing is ethereal. Though I’m not a musician and a mediocre singer at best, I do love choral music. I’m not sure this fits into that category, but I can imagine myself getting lost in it. I see they’ve released a re-mastered version of the original CD. I’m adding it to my Christmas wish list, thanks for pointing it out!

About Eric

Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our time, a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker. His first album as both composer and conductor on Decca/Universal, Light & Gold, won a Grammy® in 2012, reaped unanimous five star reviews and became the no. 1 classical album in the US and UK charts within a week of release... view full bio