Episode 5: How Do You Compose Music that is as Big as the Universe?

Meet The Expert:  Eric Whitacre

Grammy® Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of today’s most popular and performed musicians. His works are programmed worldwide by orchestras and choirs, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 120 different countries. A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, Eric served two terms as Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale concluding in 2020, following five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge, UK.

His orchestral work Deep Field featuring Virtual Choir 5 became the foundation for a pioneering audiovisual collaboration between Music Productions, the Space Telescope Science Institute and film-makers 59 Productions. Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe has been seen in museums, concert halls, space centers and festivals around the world. Inspired by Hubble Space Telescope’s discovery of the Deep Field image, the film celebrates the beauty, size and scale of our universe, extraordinary scientific discovery and human endeavor.

Eric is also the creator of the amazing Virtual Choir, a global phenomenon, creating a user-generated choir that brings together singers from around the world and their love of music in a new way through the use of technology.

You can find more about Eric at his website www.ericwhitacre.com

Listen to Eric’s TED Talk about the Virtual Choir HERE



Listen to Eric’s Composition for Hubble Deep Field


Deep Field Image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope courtesy of the Space Science Telescope Institute




Compose an original piece of music using the following parameters:

   *   Create a piece that is no more than 1 minute in length

   *   Use only 3 notes

    *  Take only 1 day to do this

With your parent’s permission, upload it to to Twitter and/or Instagram and tag us @kidssolve and Eric at @EricWhitacre


If you do, you will be entered to win a copy of this week’s book.




FREE Book for this episode

Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! 
by Robert Levine (Author), Meredith Hamilton (Illustrator), Black Dog & Leventhal

Eye-catching illustrations and an accompanying 70-minute CD make this an exciting and educational introduction to the world of classical music-from composers and music history to the instruments of the orchestra-for elementary age children (and parents, too!).
Each step of the way, children can listen to actual musical examples of what they are learning about. Young readers will hear the sound of an actual violin as they study the instrument and enjoy the playful tune of a Mozart minuet as they read about the composer’s precocious exploits as a child.


Book List: 

Turn It Up!: A pitch-perfect history of music that rocked the world  by NGKids Books

The Ultimate Guide to Music: A Fascinating Introduction to Music and the Instruments of the Orchestra by Joe Fullman (Sterling Books)

Hubble Deep Field: How a Photo Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Universe by Don Nardo (Compass Point Books)

The Hubble Space Telescope: Our Eye on the Universe by Terence Dickinson,  Tracy Read   (Firefly Books)

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