NAMM's Believe in Music Week Announces "The Golden Brick with Eric Whitacre and Imogen Heap"

-The special session will explore the creative process, composition, the “golden brick” and challenge participants to take on the “four note challenge” –

January 13, 2021

On Thursday, January 21 at 10:30 a.m., as part of NAMM's Believe in Music week, composer, conductor, lyricist, and creator of the Virtual Choir, Eric Whitacre, alongside ground-breaking singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, will take part in a special session - "The Golden Brick." In the session, Whitacre, who is one of the world's most performed composers, will share the creative process that he uses to create unforgettable compositions. Utilizing self-imposed constraints to compose using only certain notes, he says, ultimately leads to finding “the golden brick," which often becomes the foundation for his next song. Whitacre will challenge Heap, a musician known for her creative and pioneering compositions in electropop music, to take the four-note challenge, a catalyst for creating her own "golden brick" to build upon. Participants will go through the ideation process with Heap and witness her use the four-note challenge to create and perform an original song in just minutes.

“When most people think about creativity, they think about the cinematic version: the Gods gifting immortal fire to a willing composer. Truth be told, the angels are in the details. The key factor to creativity is trying to work within the tightest constraints possible; only then do we adapt and thrive,” affirms Whitacre.

The session will air on Believe TV, the main station of Believe in Music week, and will finish with a question and answer period with Whitacre hosted by Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation Executive Director. Immediately following at 11:30 a.m., Whitacre will host a live chat, and take questions from the audience.

"The Golden Brick with Eric Whitacre and Imogen Heap" is one of two sessions Whitacre will present at NAMM's Believe in Music Week. On Wednesday, January 20, 10:30 a.m., Whitacre will join Luehrsen for "Diversity & Harmony: Ten Years of Virtual Music-Making." In it, the pair will discuss the importance of virtual music-making, its role during the COVID pandemic, and Virtual Choir 6, "Sing Gently." The project, which saw over 17,500 singers from 129 countries, aged 5-88, come together to sing as one in a global choir – Whitacre's largest virtual choir to date. The session will explore the rarely seen depth of this and other projects, both human and technologically, the proliferation of new productions in 2020, and consider their role in the future as a way to unify and celebrate the human spirit.

These two sessions will join a weeklong of activities unifying and supporting the people who bring music to the world at Believe in Music week, January 18-22. The week will feature a variety of special events and concerts, a Marketplace to experience the latest in new products and technologies, 200 professional development and training sessions for all sectors of the music products, pro audio, and entertainment technology industries, and NAMM Foundation education for music educators and administrators, nonprofit professionals and college-aged students and faculty, among others. Visit to review the schedule of events or to register to attend.

Official Hashtag: #BelieveinMusic

About Eric Whitacre

Grammy® award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of today's most popular and performed musicians. His works are programmed worldwide, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from 129 countries. A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, Eric served two terms as Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, concluding in 2020, following five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge, UK.

His compositions have been widely recorded, and his debut album as a conductor on Universal, Light, and Gold went straight to the top of the charts and earned them a Grammy. A popular guest conductor and communicator, he has drawn capacity audiences to concerts with leading orchestras and professional choirs around the globe. Insatiably curious and a lover of all types of music, he has enjoyed collaborations with legendary Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer and British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap, and Annie Lennox, among others. Eric's orchestral work Deep Field became the foundation for a pioneering audio-visual collaboration between NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, Music Productions, and filmmakers 59 Productions.

A charismatic speaker, Eric has given keynote addresses for many Fortune 500 companies and global institutions, from Apple, mainstage, and Google to the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations Speaker's Program.

About Imogen Heap

Self-produced British composer and recording artist for over 20 years, Imogen Heap, has released five solo albums, another as one half of Frou Frou and collaborated with countless and varied artists including Taylor Swift, Nitin Sawhney, Deadmau5, Jeff Beck and Jon Hopkins. Her compositions and songs pop up in blockbuster and indie films as well as countless TV shows, are featured in underground rap and dance music, and covered by the likes of Ariana Grande. As composer and arranger for one of the biggest hits in theatrical history, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Imogen won the Drama Desk Outstanding Music in a Play award. As a sought-after speaker and performer, Heap hosted 2020's Grammys Premiere Ceremony. Heap's collaborative and multi-dimensional workflow attracts companies for commissioned works, leading to songs such as Tiny Human, the first song to distribute payments via a Smart Contract, and The Happy Song, a highly successful song for children in their early years. Heap, recognized as an artist's artist, has won two Grammys and an Ivor Novello award. In recognition of her pioneering work at the intersection of music and tech, Heap has a hat trick of three honorary doctorates for the gestural music-ware 'MI.MU gloves' system and recently for The Creative Passport, an integrated digital ID solution, empowering music makers to be the change toward a fair and flourishing music ecosystem.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.