Monday, September 15, 2008

7 Years

Well, it's been slightly more than that since 9/11/01. It is hard to believe. It does not seem like I was in sixth grade when the WTC fell and the Pentagon was hit and all of those other horrible traumatic things happened.

But we are seven years out, and it is interesting to look back and observe to what extent the ideas, images, and language of "9/11" have been incorporated into American culture.

Just last Thursday, I went to the Avon Cinema on Thayer St. to see Man on Wire, a documentary film about a French tight-rope walker who crossed between the Twin Towers in 1974. It was in many ways a comedy, and we chuckled and smiled in our old, red theater seats. But when the image of those towers flashed on the screen -- their construction, their monolithic presence, the view from the top -- a hush fell over the audience, and we were connected by the like-minded stress of the past. This memory is one that all American adults share.

In 2006, I had the honor of performing "Immigrants Still," a choral piece that connects to and comments on this memory, with the Connecticut All-State Chorus (under the director of Peter Bagley) and in the presence of its composer, Kenneth Fuchs. The piece is a setting of a poem by Richard Wilbur, poet laureate of the United States. It begins with soft vocal bells that chime to the word, "still," and ends with the same cadence. In between, the music describes the immigrants' journey through the centuries, the Statue of Liberty, and American solidarity. Look for onomatopoeia throughout, especially in the water section. It's really cool.

CT All-State Chorus, 2006 - Immigrants Still


Also of interest:
Here is what Jon Stewart had to say on his first show following the attacks:


Eric said...

I think that's the first time I've watched that daily show clip. If that's not the most powerful thing I've seen regarding the attacks, then It's certainly the most powerful thing I've seen in about 5 years.

Allison said...

I haven't seen that Daily Show clip before, either. Thanks for posting it. Jon Stewart is definitely much more than just a great comedian.