Jack Rowland

Tampa, FL, United States

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Jack Rowland
Posted over 3 years ago
If you were a member of Virtual Choir, Eric Whitacre's incredible global collaboration please share your story & journey with us & the world
I'm a 49-year-old video producer and technology columnist for a large newspaper and web site in Tampa Bay, FL. I grew up in a musical family and throughout high school and college I was in many bands and choral groups. I found Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir using Stumbleupon last year. I was stunned by the beauty of "Lux Aurumque" and amazed by the wonderful technology that made it possible. But I also struggled with another feeling, one that made me wonder if the intimacy of choir singing would someday be lost in the technology. There are few things that feel as pure as making music with your voice. When you do that standing shoulder-to-shoulder with others who share that vision; when you hear and feel their breath; when the overtones (notes that are heard but not sung) soar from the ensemble from the depths of perfect harmonies...there is nothing else like it. I wasn't sure I was ready to trade intimacy for the Internet. Watching the videos of Eric describing the "Sleep" project, I admired his vision and passion. Then it dawned on me that although I would be trading the personal, physical experience of singing in this choir I was gaining a chance to sing with people from all over the world lead by an acclaimed composer and conductor. When again would I have that chance? When I made my recording, the one thing that really surprised me was the virtual connection I made with Eric as he conducted me through the piece on YouTube. I haven't met him but when I was done I felt as if I sort of knew him. He conducts with so much emotion and exuberance that the experience was much more intimate than I ever imagined. Currently I'm organizing an effort by VC members to produce a special song for the people of Japan in the wake of the devastating tsunami. It's not an official Virtual Choir project but one that comes form the hearts of people who have been inspired by Eric and the VC experience to create some beauty and give back to the world. http://youtu.be/6OnM_TFJjxI