Thursday, 7 April 2011


Tonight sees the premiere of Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0, singing his composition Sleep. He spoke about the project at TED in March: the "creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube"; and the community that Sleep, and the previous project Lux aurumque, seemed to generate among people from all over the world, despite having never met each other or even been in contact with each other, except that they were all following Eric's conducting video and would one day be joined into a thing of beauty.

Do watch and listen to Sleep. It's a piece of a dreamlike quality, not easy to sing because of the breath control required. I performed it many times with my choir in Exeter, and it always moved the audience.


The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune.
With closing eyes and resting head;
I know that sleep is coming soon.

Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head.
I cannot sleep, my mind's aflight;
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.

If there are noises in the night,
A frighting shadow, flickering light
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dreams give second sight.
What dreams may come, both dark and deep,
Of flying wings and soaring leap?
As I surrender unto sleep.

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