Rufus Wainwright puts a quarantine spin on a Beatles classic
There have been plenty of remote quarantine sing-alongs organized over the past few months, but Rufus Wainwright may just have created the most ambitious one yet.
The artist teamed up with Toronto-based Choir! Choir! Choir! to lead 1,500 singers from around the world for a cover of “Across the Universe”— a song that Wainwright first recorded in 2002.
“These voices and faces represent the love and hopefulness we have for our days ahead,” Choir! Choir! Choir! stated on their YouTube channel. “As the late great John Lewis (R.I.P.) once said: ‘If it hadn’t been for music, the Civil Rights Movement would’ve been like a bird without wings. Music… brought us together. It created a sense of solidarity.’ As the days pass, we hope we never forget that our voices make a huge difference. In times of pandemics, massive economic hardships and social change, we will be there for each other.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Rufus Wainwright has collaborated with 1,500 other artists for a single performance— not too long ago he covered Leonard Cohen‘s classic “Hallelujah” while backed by a 1,500-member choir.
“I have sung ‘Across the Universe’ for many years, but only now do I truly understand the chorus,” Wainwright wrote in a statement. “It is really the universe that is singing ‘Nothing’s gonna change my world.’ It is a thrill to express this eternal fact with so many voices from all around the planet.”
Wainwright released his new album, Unfollow the Rules, earlier this month.