Dear Reader, I invite you to unplug your ipods and/or put “Sweet Home Alabama” on pause for a few minutes. I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago about a remarkable project by choral composer Eric Whitacre. He wrote a choral piece called Lux Arumque (Light and Gold) and invited people around the world to turn on their webcams and record themselves singing it. When the videos had poured in, he put them together and made the amazing 183-voice performance below.

Here’s the composer describing the project and introducing the next one:

You have until December 31 to join the virtual choir for 2011.

Bonus highbrow music video! You’ve probably seen this already, but I love this bit of random beauty by the Philadelphia Opera. The Messiah at Macy’s.