Virtual Choir

Hi Everyone,

Today’s conversation was about music – music in nature and music in cyberspace or virtual music. Image result for music in nature

We talked about different types of musical instruments and different types of music.

Then we talked about feelings and emotions related to music.

When do we listen to music? Why do we listen to music? What types of music do we like?

We discussed the sounds we hear in nature – like the wind, waves crashing, certain insects and birds singing. Rain falling , waterfalls, thunder, leaves rustling on trees. We all agreed that there is music in nature. We watched this video about how musicians use nature sounds in their work.

In this video about midway through, there is a demonstration of a beating or drumming sound that has a great beat. It turns out to be the sound of a tree, which has been dried out and is now getting some water up its trunk and branches. Pretty cool! So sounds in nature are all around us.

Next we talked about virtual music, which is basically music created and produced by computers. It has become more and more popular and you can check out some virtual instruments  here. Anyone can play these instruments and you don’t have to leave your home or buy any of the instruments.Image result for virtual musical instruments

Virtual music provides access to anyone who is interested and connects people with a shared interest in music. It’s available anytime, and all the time.

It is considered a new art form producing a new type of artistic and audience experience. The traditional music performance is transformed!

Eric Whitacre, who is a composer and conductor, has a project called the Virtual Choir, which he stared in 2009. It is a global choir that joins singers from around the world who share their love of music using technology. Singers upload their videos and then they are aggregated into a beautiful and magical choral creation. Watch this video as Eric Whitacre explains his project, with great passion and emotion.

After watching we discussed Eric’s project and what we as viewers felt about it.  One important aspect, along with the creation of the music, was the sense of connection and community, or as Eric put it, even he felt an “esprit de corps” , a sense of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by members of a group.

Eric’s latest work is Virtual Choir 4 , Fly To Paradise” , which has 8,409 videos featuring 5,905 singers from 101 countries. Relax, sit back and enjoy it here:

We all agreed that this is a very exciting production and the images of the singers and animation are great. The music is engaging and some of us felt like we were flying! For more information about the Virtual Choir and more videos go to the website where you can even sign up to sing in the next Virtual Choir performance!

Image result for fly to paradise virtual choir

Thanks for your contributions, thoughts and ideas to our conversation today!


Library Closed Tuesday March 14th

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick  update, the library will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday the 14th, due to the predicted snowstorm.  Image result for boston public library in snow

See you on Friday or next Tuesday!

International Women’s Day

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday we focused on Women’s History, which is celebrated in March, and International Women’s Day, which is March 8th. We started our conversation by selecting women in history and finding out when they lived, what they accomplished and any other significant facts about them. Some of the women we honored were Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Asma Khader, Florence Griffith Joyner, Marie Curie, Mother Teresa, Simone Weil, Susan B. Anthony, Queen Elizabeth of England, Sojouner Truth, Indira Ghandi, Princess Diana, and Rosa Parks.Image result for women in history

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for all their achievement and it is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments. Most importantly, it’s to look ahead to the potential and opportunities for future generations of women.

This year’s theme of International Women’s Day is “Women in the Changing World of Work” . We talked about current conditions of the global labor force and women. We discussed some of the issues that women face, including, pay inequity, access to jobs and opportunities, harassment in the work place, and general advancement and recognition.  Here are some of the facts we reviewed:




We talked about in our own countries what is the role of women in the labor force and how are women viewed and treated in their jobs and occupations. What has changed? What needs to change?  Then we watch this video that celebrates women and their innovations that changed lives


We wrapped up our celebration of Women by watching this video of a poem “Today I Rise”  as you watch it, read the poem here.

We talked about the poem, it’s message and meaning, and agreed that everyday we all rise! And lastly, this song is for all women, everywhere, everyday!

Every job is a woman’s job!

Photos: Vidura Jang Bahadur, Vidura Jang Bahadur, UN Women/Ryan Brown, Andrei Dolghier, UN Women/Ryan Brown, UN Women/Ryan Brown, UN Women/Joe Saad, UN Women/Joe Saad, UN Women/Joe Saad, UN Women/Dragana B. Stevanovic, UN Photo/Marco Dormino, UN Women/Ryan Brown, UN Women/Christopher Herwig, World Bank/Maria Fleischmann, Abbie Trayler-Smith, UN Women ECA/Rena Effendi, UN Women/Janarbek Amankulov, UN Women/Janarbek Amankulov, UNAMA/Fardin Waezi, UN Women/Janarbek Amankulov, CIAT/Georgina Smith