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Echoing An Innovation

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C. Engdahl
The Big E of Big E Toys

'Connections mean stories. One person, alone in one place, is a small story. When people connect, when their connections produce new ideas and more connections, things get interesting. Stories multiply.' - from the book Chasing the Rising Sun by Ted Anthony

Although I may reference or allude to the same or similar topics from time to time, I don't normally write about or mention the exact same thing in any adjacent week. This week is an exception.

For those that tuned in last week you'll remember I wrote about the original Virtual Choir (2010) and the then upcoming world premiere (which took place on Thursday April 7, 2011) of Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 'Sleep'. I didn't get to see the 'Sleep' debut in person in New York nor even get to see the live streaming webcast the night of. But since then I have watched the video of the April 7 presentation and Q&A posted on the Paley Center for Media website. I'd encourage you to take a look (if you have time watch the full hour from the April 7 event, not simply the highlight video).

The entire presentation isn't always totally engrossing, but it's fairly interesting throughout. In particular it was interesting to see how the Virtual Choir 2.0 project has touched people's lives throughout the world. People have created a real sense of connection with one another through this virtual choir experience. And innovation, as I've said before, is often about taking part in something larger than oneself. In order to do and create great things, we need to feel (and be) connected to one another.

The most compelling moment for me of the April 7 presentation was a statement made at the very end by Chris Anderson, curator and leader of TED. In referring to the overall Virtual Choir 2.0 effort and subsequent video, Mr. Anderson said 'It's magical. It gave me as much hope about the future as anything I've seen in the last couple years. I can't put my finger on quite why, but I hope you [Eric Whitacre] keep doing it, and I hope as more people like you experimenting with this because the web is so much distraction and bad and whatever. This makes the whole internet seem worthwhile and gives people hope for the future.'

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