It starts with a single drop of water. You follow its trail downward until it reaches a theater stage below where the conductor stands. It moves through him, and then at once is dispersed in a wave of energy across the floor. The movement of the now electrified water imitates the dance of aquatic creatures under a luminescent bay. When the visualized energy reaches the back of the stage, it begins its climb upward. It illuminates row upon row of video monitors.

In each, a face. And from each face, a voice. Water Night

Eric Whitacre is a composer of classic music. One day a friend stumbled on a YouTube video that’d been posted by Britlin Losee for him. It was of her singing the soprano part to one of his compositions.

That’s simply how it began.

An idea formed, and he pursued it. He blogged regularly, each entry explained his vision. He hoped to gather together 50 participants to join his Virtual Choir. He created a dedicated YouTube channel and Google Hangouts where he posted singing lessons. He recorded himself conducting the movements and voices that would combine to create the visualization of his song. He asked those who wished to join his virtual choir to record themselves singing a voice to one of his selected compositions.

That was then.

This is now, and Eric’s third Virtual Choir video is called “Water Night”. It contains 3,746 individual videos – all singing in one of six choral voices. Contributors represent 73 different countries.

For most of another man’s life he’d wanted to express himself vocally in a choir along with others. Being legally blind prevented him from joining, as he could never get close enough to see the conductor’s prompting

Now he sits directly in front of his computer screen. Now he’s one voice among the many that together are the Virtual Choir.