By: Justin Robinson
 Eric Whitacre is an American
composer, conductor and
lecturer, and is one of the
most popular performed
composers of the twentieth
 Whitacre was born on
January 2, 1970 in Reno,
 Currently, he has 44
published pieces and has sold
over a million copies.
 University of Las Vegas
 Juilliard School –
Master’s Degree
 Hila Plitmann – Wife
 Water Night
 Cloudburst
 Sleep
 Lux Aurumque
 A Boy and a Girl
 My favorite composer.
 Inspiration through my choral experiences in high
school and other places.
 He is younger and appeals to a younger generation:
20th-21st century audience.
 For the composition history and listening guide in this
presentation I will discuss 3 of Whitacre’s major
 Water Night
 Lux Aurumque
 Cloudburst
 Whitacre’s earliest work.
 Written in 1995.
 Splits into 14 different
 The words are like a poem.
 Song dedicated to a good
friend and mentor of
Whitacre, Dr. Bruce
 Written in the fall of
 Piece is written in Latin.
 Received its premiere at
the 2005 conference of
the Texas Music
Educators Association.
 Whitacre dedicated to a
close friend, Gary Green.
 Written in 1992.
 One of Whitacre’s most famous
 A cloudburst is an extreme
amount of precipitation that
falls in a short amount of time.
Most of the time cloudbursts
only last no longer than a few
minutes but are capable of
creating flood conditions.
 This piece is entirely
 This piece walks you
through a relaxing state
of sub consciousness.
 The words of the piece
are like a poem and the
music itself matches the
Listen to Water Night
(Click here)
Latin Lyrics
 Lux, calida gravisque
pura velut aurum et
canunt angeli molliter
modo natum.
English Lyrics
 Light, warm and heavy
as pure gold and the
angels sing softly to the
new-born baby.
 Again the words match
the music of this song.
 Offers a lot of dynamics.
Listen to Lux
 Programmatic music
(Click here)
 Offers a guided imagery
through the song.
Latin Lyrics
La lluvia
ojos de agua de sombra, ojos de agua de pozo,
ojos de agua de sueño.
Soles azules, verdes remolinos picos de luz que
abren astros como granadas.
Dime, tierra quemada, no hay agua? Hay sólo
sangre sólo hay polvo, sólo pisadasde pies
desnudos sobre la espina?
La lluvia despierta
Hay que dormir con los ojos abiertos, Hay que
sonar con las manos Soñemos sueños activos
de rio Buscando su cause, sueños de sol
soñando sus mundos hay que soñar en voz
alta, hay que cantar hasta que el canto eche
raíces, tronco, ramas, hay que desenterrar la
palabra perdida recordar que dicen sangre, la
marea, la tierra y el cuerpo, volver al punto de
English Lyrics
The rain ...
Eyes of shadow-water eyes of well-water eyes
of dream-water.
Blue suns, green whirlwinds, pecks of light
that open pomegranate stars.
But tell me, burnt earth, is there no water?
Only blood, only dust, only naked footsteps on
the thorns?
The rain awakens...
We must sleep with open eyes, We must dream
with our hands we must dream dreams of
active rivers Searching for their cause Dreams
of the sun dreaming of its worlds we must
dream aloud, we must sing till the song casts
roots, trunks, branches, birds, stars, we must
unearth the lost word, and remember what the
blood, the tides, the earth, and the body say,
and return to the point of departure
 This pieces walks you through a
“cloudburst” or strong rainstorm.
 Although Whitacre’s pieces are
mostly acapella, this piece
includes, handbells, drums,
windchimes, and cymbals to help
with the effect of the thunder and
 The vocal parts break into at least
8 parts during the piece.
 The choir claps and stomps to
make the sound of thunder and
Listen to Cloudburst
(Click here)
Cloudburst lyrics obtained from:
Eric Whitacre biography from the Seattle Choral Company,
Image 1 Source:
Image 2 Source:
Lux Aurumque Lyrics obtained from: Aurumque-lyricsmvcttace.html
MASON, KERRI. "Virtual Reality." Billboard 123.11 (2011): 35. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 13 Feb. 2012.
Ratcliffe, Shirley. "Igniting the Buzz." Choir & Organ 18.6 (2010): 27. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 13 Feb. 2012.
Tscioulcas, Anastasia. "Whitacre's Ace Space." Billboard 118.11 (2006): 56. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web.
13 Feb. 2012.
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies,

Eric Whitacre - Justin Robinson