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Has Anyone Heard Of Eric Whitacre?

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coirecfox
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Has anyone heard of Eric Whitacre.  His music is amazing, but I think he is a mystic.  It puzzles me.  His website: www.ericwhitacre.com

He has some clips of his songs avalible for free on the website.  I recommend Equus, Leonardo Dreams Of His Flying Machine, Lux Aurumque, and October.

I clicked on the website, and listened to a few of the samples, and I very much liked October. Funny thing is, I didn't read your whole posting, and your recommendations, so we independently reached the same conclusion. :)

Check out the picture gallery. The one where he is working at his synthesizer. Look at that equipment!

Btw, that is one of the best layed out websites I have ever seen. Clean and efficient in design, great sound, good look. Beautifully done. I think the JK Rowling website might be the best one I've seen, but it has a different purpose.

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Yes I have heard of his music. My band in highschool (symphonic band) played October. I should still have a recording somewhere of it. It is a really beautiful work.

His music is amazing, but I think he is a mystic. It puzzles me.

Why does it puzzle you?

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Greetings Eric, welcome to the forum.

I can only guess that the speculation about ethics and reality came from the few religious references at your web site. I personally think such a judgement is rash, but I didn't read your entire web site, and so may have missed what the others referred to.

It is true though, that the underlying ideology at this forum is atheistic, so religious sentiments will not be given any benefit of the doubt, generally.

As to the original question, about how one can be anti-rational in some areas, but rational in others, I think this phenomenon is much more understandable in music. As music expresses emotions directly, all that is required of a musician is a grasp of the technology (composition) to translate emotion into reality (music); of course some moderns are so far gone that they're unable to master the technology in the first place -- the Pablo Picasso's of music.

historically, religion has provided a wide and varied tradition upon which musicians could draw -- not to mention that it was often the church which financed the musicians , so it certainly doesn't surprise me that some of history's greatest composers have been very religious.

I enjoyed the samples of music at Erik's web site. I'm going to look over at Amazon.com for some more. Thanks, Erik.

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If only I could attract Whitacre to this website by merely mentioning him. If that really is you Eric, you'll have to excuse the skepticism. I cannot possibly think why or how you would be at this forum. Gnargtharst, you make a good point. I own a few of his CD's and the written intro's in the CD cover talk about Eric's prevalent "spirituality." He refers to God in some songs. A quote from him: "I want to write music that reaches out all the way across to the back of the hall and holds you there until it's completely finished, so that we can have a transcendental experience together." He seems to attribute the inspiration for his music to some unknown source within his soul. Sometimes I wonder if people like him are Objectivists at heart who have found no words for what they know to be true emotionally, and the best way they can express it is through music and references to spirituality, even though spirituality in the way they have to say it is not quite what they mean. I remember being at this stage in my life. I knew emotionally what I wanted, and searched for it in many religious areas, but never quite found my meaning of "spirit" until I found Atlas Shrugged.

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If only I could attract Whitacre to this website by merely mentioning him.  If that really is you Eric, you'll have to excuse the skepticism.  I cannot possibly think why or how you would be at this forum.

The postings on this forum are archived at google.com, and probably on other search engines as well. All he need do is search for mentions of his name. On google.com this thread shows up as the fourteenth entry (at least right now).

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It is truly I: Eric Whitacre. A fan forwarded me the link to this discussion, knowing that I was a fan of Ayn Rand's. As further proof of my identity, I did in fact receive the email sent to me by gnargtharst, sent to me through my website.

I now understand your argument, coircefox. While not an atheist, I certainly don't consider myself religious, and frankly, I just haven't found the words to express the way I feel when I am composing. Of this I am almost certain: it is not always rational, and the creative force oftentimes feels as if it is coming from a place that is unknown to my conscious mind. Perhaps you are right, I simply lack the vocabulary, or the understanding of my own technique to properly name it. But I don't think that is the case.

I use 'spiritual' as shorthand for 'exalted,' or 'awe-filled.'

To the best of my knowledge, only one of my works actually references the word "God," and again, for me it is simply a convenient way to express the inexpressible. Even Ayn Rand famously used the phrase 'Thank God,' and explained it further by saying that she liked the phrase because it simply meant 'the highest.'

Also, I'm not claiming to be a hard-core objectivist. I'm just a man trying to write beautiful, TRUE music.

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Eric, the most memorable piece I played in symphonic band in high school was Ghost Train. I still remember it to this day, almost 6 years later. It was easily the most favourite piece I played under Richard Saucedo. The only tune that came close was Dance Movements by Philip Sparke, which I played in 2000. Anyways, I knew nothing about the composer of Ghost Train until now, and it's no wonder why I was so awe-struck by such a junoesque composition.

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Eric,

When you write, you say you use 'spiritual' as a means of expressing a feeling of exaltation or awe. What are these feelings in reference to? What is your idea of the meaning of 'the highest'?

Also, one of my friends told me that at the Indiana All-State Honor Band, you said that you supported online file-sharing. I was wondering if you still feel that way and why.

Coire

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Ironically enough--Cathedral. It was my choice, too. At the time however I had never heard of Objectivism and I was one strange kid. I was very mystical, very modern liberal, and very communist...not Communist...I knew they were bad, but I thought if everyone was consented to it, a communist economy would be the ideal economy. I really changed from freshman to senior year. Cathedral got progressively worse as I realized my mistaken thought process. By senior year I was ready to jump out a window nearly every class I went to. I must say however, that I was well-prepared for college both academically and, how should I say it, politically.

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It wasn't too bad. I didn't really begin to understand the bulk of the philosophy until senior year. My girlfriend at the time really enjoyed that. We're not speaking anymore. She was the last bit of selflessness and mysticism I had to eject from my life before I could seriously consider myself a student of Objectivism. I was in a class senior year that visited Hudson weekly. We met with John Clark. We learned how to write Op-Ed's and policy reports. It was a blast.

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  • 6 years later...

Mr. Whitacre, if you would take the time, I was interested by your Virtual Choir project, but I'm fuzzy on its details. Did you invite individuals to sing whatever note they choose, and then place their voices into that song's order by yourself, or did you send out sheet music for them to sing along to?

The first would be a more impressive answer.

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