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Submissions for Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 5: Deep Field are open between 5 and 27 June 2018. Singers are invited to join the soundtrack for an extraordinary new film with imagery taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, to be released online and for screening in later 2018.

Submissions are now open for Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 5: Deep Field (VC5). Singers are invited to record and upload their video to become part of a new digital art film created by Eric Whitacre and Music Productions in collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute and 59 Productions. Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre’s Deep Field, scored for orchestra, choir and electronics, is inspired by the revolutionary discoveries of the determined scientific visionaries working with the Hubble Space Telescope.

VC5 opens on Tuesday June 5 and closes on Wednesday June 27 at 11:59pm PST.

The Music: Twenty-eight years ago, NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. The vast map of our universe that it produced stands as one of the most important scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. It is a story of human endeavor, wonder and extraordinary scientific ambition. This story was the inspiration behind Eric Whitacre’s Deep Field which was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra and BBC Radio 3 for the BBC Proms.

The Film: The Deep Field film is being created by the extraordinary scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (Washington D.C) and the imagineers from Tony Award-winning 59 Productions (London). The teams will work to combine the extraordinary imagery taken by the Hubble Space Telescope to support the narrative of the music. The film will include never before seen imagery from Hubble as realized by STScI. The soundtrack will feature the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Eric Whitacre Singers and singers from around the world in Virtual Choir 5. The film will be released online later in 2018 and will be featured in planetariums, space agency sites and galleries around the world.

Why Now: Virtual Choir 5 is being created in 2018, the year of NASA’s 60th anniversary and just before the successor to Hubble – the James Webb Space Telescope – will launch from a European Space Agency site in 2020. The JWST will allow humans to look back to the formation of the very first stars in the universe.

Accessibility: Eric’s first Virtual Choir in 5 years, VC5 is designed to be accessible to as wide a community as possible. Everything that you need to sign up, learn the music (by ear or with sheet music) and record your video is provided at virtualchoir5.com. Executive Producers, Music Productions, are working directly with specialist organizations to improve accessibility and reduce barriers for the underserved.

STEAM: VC5 is a celebration of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, Math. As part of the recording process, users will come across a series of fun challenges inspired by STEAM. Each completed challenge earns the user a badge and once all eighteen are successfully completed, you earn one entry into a prize draw to win a selection of prizes.

Scientific Research: As part of the Virtual Choir submission process, scientists from University College London, led by Dr. Daisy Fancourt, are conducting a large-scale, two-phase study into the benefits of virtual cultural experiences, the results of which will help support the research into the mental health of those in isolated spaces.

Sign up now and record at virtualchoir5.com

“Humanity’s most basic instincts are often expressed in discovery and music. Hubble Telescope’s images of the Deep Field, which fundamentally changed the way we understand the Universe, have been transformed into inspired music by composer Eric Whitacre. Combining the voices of thousands of singers from around the world in the Virtual Choir with symphony orchestra and Hubble’s extraordinary images of the cosmos, will a truly mind-blowing experience.”
Dr. Robert Williams | Astrophysicist, Former Director - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

“Astronomy has long permeated the arts, from architecture to poetry and literature to music. Together they enrich the human experience by allowing us to interpret the world around us in ways we can understand and push the boundaries of discovery further than we ever thought possible. The Hubble Space Telescope has not only transformed the science of astronomy, but also has revealed the beauty and richness of the fabric of the Universe. That the Hubble Deep Field became a source for musical inspiration to composer, Eric Whitacre, comes as no surprise. The image is emotionally stunning and intellectually inspiring.”
Dr. John Mace Grunsfeld | Hubble Astronaut and Former Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

> Read the full press release here.

Photo: Marc Royce

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