For hundreds of years, requiems have mourned the dead and comforted the living. In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, New York’s Q2 is creating a weekend-long stream of music that stretches across centuries and cultures to address themes of grief, remembrance and resolution. You’ll also hear voices reflecting on that tragedy and others, offering perspective for the living. And all month long, as we dig deep into our study of the requiem, we’ll share our questions, ideas and discoveries – and ask for yours.
Recently in Q2's Requiem Project
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Ten years ago on September 11, I was on the air here at WQXR from 7 p.m. until midnight. I had been called in at the last minute to cover for my colleague, June LeBell, who had been evacuated from Battery Park City to New Jersey earlier in the day. As I walked to the station that night, I remember how absolutely lost I felt. "What should I say? What should I do? How can we help?" It seemed so illogical to be playing music while television and radio stations all over the city were trying desperately to explain what had happened and to advise us about what to do next.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Wordless Music Orchestra marked the 9/11 anniversary at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sunday with a reflective program of Schnittke, Golijov, Ingram Marshall and William Basinski. Listen to the full concert here.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I last saw my friend and sound engineer Bill Cadman in Paris at the beginning of December 1988 when we had a drink together. On December 21st, Bill and his new girlfriend Sophie were killed in the Lockerbie air crash. I was very badly affected by his death and for some time I found it hard to sleep and had constant nightmares. I wrote an obituary for The Independent newspaper shortly after his death, which helped me quite a lot.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
As part of Q2's Requiem Project, we've been searching the NYPR archives for voices that offer perspective on 9/11 and help us better understand the world in which we now live. The stories that immediately stood out to me were of the volunteers who for months helped feed, clothe and comfort the people working at the site. "We have to understand that their existence in millions for each evil act is what keeps us going," the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould told WNYC's Marianne McCune.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Musicians write requiems for all sorts of reasons. The Connecticut composer Ingram Marshall wrote his seminal tape piece Gradual Requiem in tribute to his father, who had recently died. He explains its significance.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Over the next few weeks, as we listen to your requiem suggestions and start to sketch out the 9/11 anniversary weekend programming, a ton of new music will be crossing our desks. But some of our recent discoveries are simply too moving to wait an additional moment before sharing: including work by a Polish film composer, a Ukrainian romantic, and a requiem based on Latvian folk songs.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Although it stems from a specific religious tradition, the requiem has become a versatile, generous form through which many composers have addressed the fundamental human concerns surrounding mortality. Requiems mourn the dead, and they’re appropriately reverent and solemn. But they also can be dramatic and uplifting. Ten years after the events of September 11, 2001, the requiem continues to be a valuable form for exploring the lasting shock, anger and sorrow of loss — and for celebrating what remains.
Friday, August 12, 2011
John Adams was one of the first major composers to take on the challenge of writing a work to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001. His Pulitzer Prize-winning work On the Transmigration of Souls is something of a sound collage, performed by orchestra and choirs along with pre-recorded ambient sound: we hear a voice reading names of people who were lost in the towers, the choirs singing reminiscences of their family members.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
For more than 500 years, Western classical music has used the requiem mass to bury the departed and console the living. Nearly 2,000 requiems have been written, to date — and that isn't even counting all the secular works meant to address the realities of death and mortality.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Sometimes the enormity of a moment is captured by something small — the details of the everyday take on new meaning. What do you remember from September 11, 2001 and its immediate aftermath? What memory or observation stands out, and why?
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Writing a piece about a major disaster, war or other crisis is one of the bigger challenges a composer may face. In this guide to pieces about September 11, we explore how every composer faced a specific hurdle and how they arrived at a given solution.