Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Virtual Choir 2.0: where in the world to find Narelle

I'm told my verbal directive for how you can find me in the virtual universe is not sufficient, so I've doctored the image. Find the green circle and you've found me on Planet Australia.

This extraordinary five minutes of international choralation is charging toward viral status. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the link: Find out what the world's so gob-smacked about!

If you're in Germany, you can view the video on Vimeo here:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On being a member of "Sleep" Virtual Choir 2.0

What it was like being a part of this record-breaking event

The music was more difficult than I'd attempted before, requiring control and dynamic flexibility that stretched me. I didn't have a teacher to help, but I found excellent support from the sheet music and Eric Whitacre's tutorial and conductor videos. I also studied other uploads to see if I was on track.

I loved working with a skilled conductor. Eric knows what he wants and leads with clarity. He also has a talent for connecting with his choir.  You see, the experience didn't stop once I'd uploaded the video of my vocal part.

With an earplug in one ear to hear the keyboard chords, I let Eric guide me through the choral labyrinth.

One bare voice goes public, trusting that this one strange part will be transformed by togetherness into captivating aural beauty. What a long 3 months of waiting it was until the New York Premiere on 7 April 2011!

My favourite testimony. There are many amazing stories, but I really connected with the isolation this lady describes.

Through social media, I've been able to converse with a music professional who generously allows me access to his knowledge and his friends. I've been able to ask for advice and share in online music experiences with others.

From my isolated, lonely place on the planet, I've become part of a universal, ongoing musical event. My health might limit my physical journey, but broadband internet has opened the world to me. I'm amazed and blessed to be given this opportunity.

Melody Myers, soloist in Virtual Choir 1.0, through whose YouTube channel I discovered Eric Whitacre's music and signed myself into the info loop.

Virtual Choir 1.0 -- the astonishingly beautiful "Lux Aurumque" (Light and Gold) that introduced Virtual Choir to the world. With 2 million hits and counting, you can view it here:
Filming my part was not a simple affair.
Camera and tripod perched on filing cabinet. Netbook connected to YouTube conductor track perched on hatbox on bookshelf. Blanket backdrop pinned over closet doors. Desk chair supporting spineless sound proofing. Stool and cushion for positioning artist. Lamp for cooking artist.
Helpful sound engineers advised me (by email) to use mattresses to absorb bounced sound. This was the best setup I could figure out in my small room. The mattress, borrowed from a neighbour, was so floppy that it soon folded over on itself, despite wavery support from the chair. I was relieved to discard it. Without the chair blocking the doorway (which had to be shut when recording, but open between takes on this sweltering summer's day), the task became slightly less complicated.

If you're wondering why I had my netbook perched in this unlikely position, it was because I wanted to keep my chin up while looking at the conductor. One thing I hadn't figured out was how helpful a video camera's flip screen can be, so all frame checks had to be done by climbing behind the mattress and leaning around the tripod without bumping the camera. Ah well, we live and learn.

SUCCESS: Listening to the playback from the camera, elated that I'd achieved my goal before the deadline. Excitement and cosmetics cover a multitude of weariness.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spotting Narelle in Virtual Choir 2.0

Here is the record-breaking video:

Did you find me in the choir's virtual universe?

I'm on the Australian planet (yes, well, what do we Kiwis think of that? lol). Planet Australia revolves past viewers between the phrases "Upon my pillow safe in bed" and "a thousand pictures fill my head" between 1:12 and 1:13 on the counter. Look directly above the word "Australia", second row above the word, at the highest face visible on the planet. That's me.

Here's an EarthView from Google showing where the "Planet Australia" singers are from. I will post details soon of what it was like to be one of them.

And here's the man who made it possible: Eric Whitacre.
I'm sorry I don't have a photo of Team Whitacre. As Eric says, he's just the face of the project. The technicians and management staff made it happen. I close this post with a heartfelt, enthusiastic roar of applause for TEAM WHITACRE!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Extraordinary Journey

What an extraordinary journey I'm on. Living with such limitations, yet still given wonderful opportunities.

This week marks significant milestones on that journey. I'm on Australian TV and I'm part of the Virtual Choir World Premiere in New York. Yep. Extraordinary.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Narelle Singing on Aussie TV

On 5 dates this month, Australians have the chance to hear Narelle sing on TV with Jules Riding!

You can watch the Cataclysm live concert filmed in Auckland on 9 October 2010 by tuning in to ACCTV (online or on television) on these dates.

Tues, 5 April - 8pm
Wed, 6 April - 1.30pm
Thur, 7 April - 1am
Thur, 14 April - 8.30am
Fri, 15 April - 1.30pm

Viewers in SA and NT subtract 30 minutes, and viewers in WA subtract 2 hours.
Jules Riding is touring in NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania this month. Check here for details:

These photos are from the Auckland concert filmed live for DVD. If you can't tune in to ACCTV on the above dates, you can view the tracks on or buy the CD/DVD album or download from You can also view five clips of the New Zealand tour band at

Saturday, April 2, 2011

View the World Premiere of Virtual Choir 2.0 !

Have you heard of Virtual Choir? If you haven't seen the videos yet, they'll knock your socks off.

80s popstar wannabe Eric Whitacre, now superstar classical composer and conductor, reveals details of the Virtual Choir 1.0 and 2.0, and the latter's world premiere in just one week:

New Zealand gets honourable mention! I'm excited and amazed to think I'm part of such a project. Did you spot me in the virtual universe...? ; ) Here's a clue for what to look for:

You can view the world premiere streaming live from New York on 7 April 2011, 6pm ET.  In New Zealand, that will be 10am on Friday, 8 April.

Where ever you are in the world, I hope you'll join me for this history-making event!
Warm wishes,

If you'd like a text explanation of what is Virtual Choir, how it's done, and who is Eric Whitacre, click on this link and read the info box under the video.
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