Silence

The following is one of my postings on the NewMusicBox WTC posting page.

Keith, like you, I have been reluctant to return to composition, knowing that I have changed and that my music will change, too. I have heard only one piece composed since the event at a fundraising, a piece started before and finished after. The two sections were unimpressive - what stared out as banal written before became even more banal written after.

What has to be most striking to us as composers is that the most effective sonic response to this tragedy is silence. In our houses of worship, we have the ritual repetitions, and then, as we remember, mourn and grieve, long silence, Similarly, as I visited Ground Zero, shocking silence was the only appropriate reaction.

I have found that sometimes we compose our happiest music when times are rough, and our saddest when our lives are most joyous. As I face the overwhelming despair that has enveloped my family's life, I am considering setting texts that relate to hope. The act of creation is an interesting phenomena. I've been looking at works of the early 40's - Copland's Americana, Rodgers' "Oklahoma!" - in a new light I suggest others do the same.

Shalom.

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Last Updated: September 12, 2007