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Oh My God, Oh My God, I Just Had the Coolest Idea!

May 15, 2009 at 3:27 am UTC

Today I received a beautiful and impassioned video message from a young singer and composer named Britlin Losee. I was deeply struck by her spirit, and her voice, and her chutzpah. I know I would never have the courage to make something like that and send it to someone I admired.

I asked her if I could post it here, and she graciously agreed.

If you’re not inclined to watch it all the way through, all you need to know is this: around one minute in, she sings the first soprano line of Sleep, all the way through, no breaks. Really lovely and pure voice.

Britlin’s not the first person to do this. One of my very first posts on this site featured Courtney, performing the climax of the same piece:

When I saw Britlin’s video today the idea hit me like a brick: what if hundreds of people did the same thing and then we cut them all together, creating the very first virtual choir? I’m sure you’ve seen the videos out there of people performing all of the parts to a song and then multitracking and cutting them together (like Michael Jackson’s Thriller). Here’s an incredible example, all nine parts of Lux Aurumque performed by Robin Segebarth from Oldenburg, Germany:

So here is how we do it: Let’s all agree to use the Polyphony recording of Sleep (off of their album Cloudburst); you can buy it from iTunes or stream it from my MySpace page. Try to keep the volume of the Polyphony recording as low as possible in the background, and then record yourself singing your part all the way through, no stopping. Then post it to YouTube.

When we cut it all together the entrances and cutoffs will be a little sloppy, but for this first time that’s all right. We’ll need a lot of people to do this, so don’t be shy, and recruit your friends (especially tenors). If you’re too mortified to sing it alone, find a couple of other people to join you. If it works as well as I think it’s going to, I’ll compose a short new piece just for YouTube, and we will premiere it virtually, with all of you making the virtual choir, people from all over the world alone and together and singing.


EDIT: Some of you don’t have the sheet music… I hadn’t thought of that. It’s easy enough to buy, but let me see if there’s something I can do. In the meantime, anyone have any ideas how we can help those people without a score? Is it possible (or illegal) to shoot a close-up of the sheet music and post it to YouTube?


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