Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Thanks to Gabe for sending this to me. I do listen to NPR mornings but not for hours like I do out there.

Steve Reich's WTC is presented as a 9/11 tenth anniversary tribute. As I said to my feedback circle, take a deep breath and probably don't have anything more to do the day you listen to it.

Initially I was put off that he would write a second Different Trains (1988), as if in service to fans, but it's an original work. I don't study Reich so can't analyze it in terms of his development over intervening years, but WTC is original. Not having family members who were involved in WWII, I think I took Different Trains abstractly or idealistically. But the composer worked from his own experience, however distant, of the time and with survivors to reconcile apparent disagreements of the truth. That work infuses the sounds with meaning and energy; that's what impacts me.

It's interesting to note Reich's choices of trains and Ground Zero for the subjects of these string quartet and tape pieces are both tiny frames of the conflicts referenced. Yet their poignancy as sensations and memories firmly recall those upheavals of our world.

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