Score: 5 balloons
Eric Whitacre, a well-known composer, began his talk with a personal story. He described how one day, he logged onto his computer to find a YouTube video recorded by a teenage girl who was singing one of his songs. The young singer, Britlin, left a message for Whitacre:
Britlin's message to Mr. Eric Whitacre... I was REALLY nervous!!! but hopefully he will see this video and see how thankful I am for him... he is the one who inspired me to compose!!! I hope to talk with him or meet him one day... wouldn't that be a dream come true!!!!!
It was this video that gave Whitacre the inspiration for his latest experiments - virtual choirs. He realized that by having individuals record each of the parts of a song, he could stitch them all together, creating a complete recording. This allowed him to connect all these individuals through music.
Whitacre put a call out for submissions on his website, and has received thousands of submissions. He shared two videos and the process used to construct them: his first virtual choir, Lux Aurumque, and a reveal of the beginnings of his second, in-progress virtual choir.
See the Guide to TED Talks 2011.