Stories of Loss and Recovery

Audio collected from the WNYC Archives

Saturday, September 10, 2011

As part of The Requiem Project, we searched the WNYC Archives for voices that offer perspective on loss, grief and remembrance. The goal was for these voices to augment the music stream — text that would expand upon the themes in the music, and vice versa. We found accounts from volunteers who rushed to the World Trade Center site to help in the relief efforts, interviews with artists who struggled to capture the enormity of the moment, and much more.

Some audio came with accompanying information, included below — other entries had very little. We excerpted and edited what we found, but left it unscored (thanks to Q2 listeners for your feedback). We felt that the sound itself, the content and music of the voices, stood on its own.  












WNYC (September 11, 2003)

The description of this tape in the WNYC Archives actually gives two sources for these bells: the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, and Saint Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn. If you live near one of these churches and can identify the sound, post a comment below.


Carry On
Clive Barnes, drama and dance critic
WNYC (September 11, 2002)

From "911 Voices," produced by WNYC.


Fina DeGrijze, 9/11 mourner
Interviewed by Amy Eddings for WNYC News (October 28, 2001)

Fina DeGrijze attended a memorial service at Ground Zero to mourn her former colleagues. She worked at a travel agency — when her office moved, DeGrijze and some employees went to an office in midtown, while others went to work at the World Trade Center.


Valerie Ghent, singer-songwriter and 9/11 recovery volunteer
Interviewed by Marianne McCune for WNYC News (October 16, 2001)

Holly Bart, volunteer serving meals near Ground Zero
Interviewed by Marianne McCune for WNYC News (October 16, 2001)

Just days after 9/11, star chef David Bouley opened up a makeshift restaurant near the World Trade Center site — it offered people working on the pile an alternative to the cold sandwiches and fast food they'd been eating during their sometimes four-day shifts. At one point, the staff estimated serving 45,000 meals per day, including poached salmon and chocolate mousse. And they served them in a special dining hall with communal tables (quickly nicknamed “The Green Tarp” for its décor). A volunteer named Holly Bart remembered a conversation she had with one of the diners, a fireman.


Jeré Longman, writer
WNYC (September 11, 2002)

Longman is the author of Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back. His interview appeared in "911 Voices," produced by WNYC.


For the City
Amit Chatterjee, musician
Recorded by Tony Field for WNYC News (2002)

Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionary biologist
Interviewed by Marianne McCune for WNYC News (October 16, 2001)

In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, volunteerism flourished. The evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould saw the simple acts of goodness offered by everyday people as evidence of something important. "We have to understand that their existence in millions for each evil act is what keeps us going. ... "[A] complex, well-functioning system of kindness and decency needs thousands of tiny little steps — you can't put it together as quickly as you can take it apart." Gould's wife Rhonda Shearer led her own relief supply effort.


Roy De Carava, photographer
WNYC (September 11, 2002)

From "911 Voices," produced by WNYC.


N. M. Kelby, writer
Interviewed by Leonard Lopate for WNYC (May 25, 2001)

N. M. Kelby appeared on New York & Company to talk about her book In the Company of Angels.


Tony Hiss, writer
Interviewed by Leonard Lopate for WNYC (September 11, 2002)

Tony Hiss appeared on The Leonard Lopate Show to talk about his contribution to the collection 110 Stories: New York Writes after September 11.


Janice Hazelcorn, mother of 9/11 victim
Interviewed by Cindy Rodriguez for WNYC News (September 11, 2010)

In Concert
Anca Nicolau, Myron Lutzke, Krista Bennion Feeney, and John Feeney, members of the St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra
Interviewed by Leonard Lopate for WNYC (September 11, 2002)

The ensemble appeared on The Leonard Lopate Show.


Jim Coughlin, NYPD
WNYC (March, 2002)

From "Six Months: Rebuilding Our City, Rebuilding Ourselves," produced by WNYC.


Paula Berry, wife of 9/11 victim
Interviewed by Cindy Rodriguez for WNYC News (September 11, 2010)

Joel Meyerowitz, photographer
Interviewed by Kurt Andersen for WNYC/PRI (September 7, 2006)

For nine months following the 9/11 attacks, Meyerowitz documented the Ground Zero cleanup and recovery efforts in a series of powerful and moving photographs. They are collected in Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive. Meyerowitz appeared on Studio 360 to talk about the book.


Michael, vigil attendee
WNYC (October 28, 2001)

Michael (who preferred not to give his last name) was at a vigil for the first responders at Chelsea Piers.


Unnamed religious leaders
Recorded by Amy Eddings for WNYC News (October 28, 2001)

These prayer fragments were recorded at a memorial service held at Ground Zero.


Special thanks to Kevin Mayner, Marianne McCune, Andy Lanset, Marcos Sueiro Bal and John Passmore.


More in:

Comments [1]

paulkrik from new york

the way the towers fell made me curious. the way our government behaved made me furious. burning books is not american.

Sep. 11 2011 01:10 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.


About Q2 Music

Q2 Music is WQXR’s multiplatform home for musical discovery and dynamic new classical music from trailblazing composers, ensembles and leading New York new-music venues. Q2 Music's 24/7 stream lives online at and is accessible via the free WQXR app.


Follow Q2 Music