“Pieces Of 9-11”: Song Looks Outside N.Y. For Inspiration

    September 3, 2013
    Amanda Crum

As we approach the 12th anniversary of one of the most deadly and tragic days in our history, a musician is gearing up for the release of his double-CD set, which pays tribute to those who lost their lives when the twin towers fell as well as those they left behind.

Pianist and composer Jake Heggie says he took words from the survivors and those who worked at ground zero and turned them into song in an effort “to create a sense of hope and newness that can come from the grief…otherwise, the people who did it win.” The album, titled “here/after (songs of lost voices)”, won’t be released until October but many are curious about a tribute that looks outside of New York for inspiration. Heggie says he wanted to find a way to give a voice to all those who were changed forever by 9/11 despite being scattered around the country; that’s why everyone he interviewed as inspiration for the music came from somewhere outside of the city.

“I wasn’t in New York, I didn’t see the smoke and destruction, and yet my life changed that day — everyone’s life changed that day,” said Heggie. He says the point of the album is “to create a sense of hope and newness that can come from the grief. Otherwise, the people who did it win.”

Heggie, along with soprano Talise Trevigne and baritone Nathan Gunn, created the songs from the grief-stricken words of people who lost their loved ones during the attack. The song “Pieces Of 9-11” includes the story of one firefighter who worked at ground zero and recalled searching through the rubble:

“And everything belonged to somebody/To somebody gone/And we all belonged to each other/From that moment on.”

The album will be released on October 21 of this year.

Image: World Trade Center, Gavin Costello/Wikimedia Commons