Steve Reich Announces 9/11-Inspired 'WTC 9/11'

Steve Reich Announces 9/11-Inspired 'WTC 9/11'

Influential minimalist composer Steve Reich is set to release an album reflecting on the 9/11 attack on New York City.

It's hard to believe that the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred almost ten years ago, but the experimental musician is reflecting on the occasion with a new piece titled WTC 9/11. The piece was commissioned and recorded by avant-garde classical outfit the Kronos Quartet.

Reich remembers watching the tragedy unfold and, like many, was drawn into the event on a more personal level: His family was in New York City at the time.

 "On 9/11 we were in Vermont, but our son, granddaughter, and daughter-in-law were all in our apartment," Reich said in a statement. "Our phone connection stayed open for six hours and our next-door neighbors were finally able to drive north out of the city with their family and ours. For us, 9/11 was not a media event."

The piece unfolds via strings and snippets of dialogue pertaining to the attacks. As the press release explains, "Those voices and their texts belong to NORAD air traffic controllers, as they raised the alert that the airplanes were off course; FDNY workers on the scene; friends and former neighbors of the Reichs, recalling that day; and women who kept vigil, or Shmira, over the dead in a tent outside the Medical Examiner's office, reading Psalms or Biblical passages."

The WTC 9/11 album package also includes Reich's 2009 piece Mallet Quartet, as performed by So Percussion, and a performance of his 2002 work Dance Patterns. A bonus DVD includes a live performance of Mallet Quartet.

Nonesuch will release WTC 9/11 / Mallet Quartet / Dance Patterns on September 6.