What would it be like if 2,000 people from around the world -- who didn't know one another and who have never met -- somehow came together to sing in one song, in one language?  Well, thanks to the Internet, composer Eric Whitacre made that very thing happen.  And it's absolutely gorgeous.

In the age of digital recording, the average person can now record studio-quality tracks in the comfort of their own home.  And with the Internet, that performance can be sent anywhere in the world.  Whitacre had already recorded a version of his song, “Sleep.”  And he was touched by a young woman named Britlin Losee, who recorded a YouTube video of herself singing along with the song.

From there, Whitacre got the idea to layer hundreds of such performances on top of one another to create a “virtual choir.”  Whitacre recorded himself conducting a song called "Lux Aurumque" (see below) – so that the performers could follow along – and then sent the call out to singers around the world.  He gathered 185 singers from 12 countries to record "Lux Aurumque."  With that experiment under his belt, Whitacre decided to return to “Sleep” and see what he could accomplish.

With his Virtual Choir 2.0, he sent the call out again, and this time, over 1,700 people responded, sending in 2,052 performances (some people recorded multiple parts).  From 58 countries, the choir features singers from every continent except Antarctica.

Here’s the result of that work – a Virtual Choir rendition of Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep,” mixed into a video that not only gives you an idea of the scope of the project, but also is simply beautiful on its own.

And here's Whitacre's first experiment:  "Lux Aurumque."