We asked local composers about September 11th, and this is what they had to say:
I was shocked as we all were about 9/11. My wife is from Manhattan, and my mother-in-law still lived there, so the impact was very personal. Also, at the time, we just received word that my wife's step-mother had passed away suddenly on 9/9. I remember having lunch with composer Ken Metz on 9/10 who was also having some problems. At the time, we asked ourselves "what else can go wrong?" I had nearly 6 months before and 8 months after 9/11 without writing a single note. But I had to finish a commission from the local Alamo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. That piece, Meditation (Noel Nouvelet), was 9/11 inspired. The notes are as follows:This work is the first work of mine written after the tragedy of September 11 and it is as much a meditation on how our world has changed as it is a personal reawakening for my work as a composer. The hymn tune Noël Nouvelet is associated with rebirth, renewal, and growth, and in that light this piece begins in a dark environment and moves toward that melody. The melodic arabesques in the center of the work are integrated with elements of the old French carol and eventually the hymn tune emerges in the pedal. At the end, the ascent continues on and hovers in quiet stasis. The text (often sung with this melody) echoes in my memory “…now the green blade rises…”I had this work played at festival in Florida, with no program notes. After the performance, a composer, who was Egyptian, came up to me and asked me about the piece. He thought it must have a program behind it. He said that the mode that I used at the opening sounded like the Arabic mode Saba, a melancholy mode used for mourning, loss, and grief. Wow. I was amazed at what popped up in the music.
You can hear a portion of Meditation (Noel Nouvelet) here.
Hear Artists Respond this Sunday on Texas Public Radio: 4 p.m. on KPAC 88.3 FM and KTXI 90.1 FM, 8 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. Read more composers, conductors and artists creative responses here.