Featured in this post:
Ísland farsælda frón is set to the famous poem Ísland (Iceland) by Jónas Hallgrímsson. The poem was published in 1835; I haven’t been able to find out who created the music (click the link above for a detailed translation and discussion).
Voces Thules (0:47)
The Voces Thules version was my first encounter with this piece.
This last version is really fun, wacky and out there. The band has little or no internet presence and may no longer exist.
Virtual Choir: Lux Aurumque
Eric Whitacre is a composer/conductor who has produced some very beautiful music with four virtual choirs, most of whose members have never met face-to-face.
At the time of writing this post the video has been viewed 1.7 million times.
BBC News Online notes that the video is #1 on UK iTunes chart and #2 on the US iTunes chart. Day reports on her blog that it has also reached #1 on the Amazon chart.
ETA: The song has become a freaking earworm. Gah.
I discovered this muso by accident today as a result of browsing through various covers of Björk’s Unravel on YouTube and finding this atmospheric, well-executed version: Unravel – Björk (Piano & Vocal Cover by JD Justice).
More of the artist’s work (mostly covers) is available on YouTube Channel jdjustice72. The songs may also be downloaded as high-quality MP3 (320kbps) files from his website. But beware! Anything recorded prior to 2009 is archived into massive zipfiles exceeding 1.5 GB, one file per year. If you have the time and the bandwidth, the files are well worth picking up.
An aside: The Thom Yorke/Radiohead version of Unravel is really strange but ends beautifully with an extended instrumental section.