|9/11 tributeOn the morning of September 11, 2001, as I watched the towers burn and fall to the ground, my thoughts continuously circled back to my friends who I knew were in the midst of all that chaos, destruction and death. After spending the entire day mired in emptiness, I received not just good news, but great news: my friends had survived.
Weeks after 9/11, as the city in collective shock mourned in grief, as the posters of the missing wallpapered buildings, storefront windows, lampposts, fences, mailboxes and trees, as the smoke inexplicably continued to rise from the ruins of the collapsed towers, I came across a quote by Wayne Dyer, who once said, "Don't die with your music still inside of you."
Reading that quote after 9/11, got me to thinking that maybe I could record a collection of songs that I had written that had been inspired by books that I had read. The facts that I can't carry a tune and had never been in a band in my entire life, for some reason, didn't carry the argument against making a CD. That CD, Bob's Book Club, closed out with a song about 9/11 on it disguised as a metaphor. That song was "In the Shadow of Lingshan." Its vocalist had managed to escape from the 88th floor of the north tower, the first tower that was hit.
After that CD was released, I had the irrational idea to make a second CD. As fate would have it, Greetings from the Library wound up being conceived in three acts and the last act was to have four songs written in relation to 9/11. One of those songs is called "The Towers and the Wire Walker" and is inspired by Mordecai Gerstein's book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. It tells the story of the artist Philippe Petit, who on August 7, 1974, walked on a wire between the towers, 110 stories above the ground. Another song, "An Empty Space," is inspired, in part, by Don DeLillo's haunting novel Falling Man.
I'm making these three songs available as free downloads to help remind people to not forget. We shouldn't forget the majesty of those towers and the grace of their presence on Manhattan's skyline. We shouldn't forget the people who came to work, day after day, filling up 220 floors of offices; co-workers sharing their days in camaraderie and goodwill. And we should never forget how so many of their lives were tragically and needlessly taken from them and their families on September 11, 2001.